BRONX, N.Y. – The Saint Joseph’s baseball team lost a pair of tight games at Fordham on Saturday, dropping the first game of the doubleheader, 2-0, before falling 4-3 in the nightcap.
In the opener, Fordham (19-12 overall, 5-3 Atlantic 10) scored single runs in the third and fourth inning to come away with a 2-0 win.
Jordan DiValerio retired the first seven batters of the game, but the Rams got on the board when Billy Godrick singled and then scored on a two-out double by Jake MacKenzie.
Justin Bardwell led off the fourth for the hosts with a single, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and a balk, and scored on a single by Matt Tarabek to double the lead.
Kadar Namey led off the seventh for the Hawks with a single, then advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt, but Fordham’s Matt Mikulski worked his way through the inning and stranded Namey at third.
Martin saved the game for Mikulski, who improved to 4-3 after allowing four hits and four walks while striking out seven over eight innings. DiValerio took the tough-luck loss, falling to 3-3 on the season after ceding two runs on four hits while also fanning seven.
A pair of sixth-inning errors spelled doom for the Hawks in game two, as the Rams notched a 4-3 victory.
Saint Joseph’s (12-16 overall, 5-3 Atlantic 10) opened an early lead in the top of the second inning. Andrew Cossetti led off the frame and reached on an error before moving to third on a one-out single by Artz. Cuppari followed with a single to bring home Cossetti before Brendan Hueth singled home Artz to put the Hawks ahead, 2-0.
The Hawks then loaded the bases with one out in the third, but Fordham’s John Stankiewicz settled in to retire the side and begin a stretch of 11 consecutive hitters sent down.
The Rams got on the board in the bottom of the fifth as MacKenzie led off with a single and eventually scored on a two-out base hit by Nick Labella.
The hosts then took the lead on a trio of unearned runs in the sixth. After a pair of one-out singles, Jake Baker reached on a bunt single of his own; an errant throw allowed two runs to score and give Fordham a 3-2 lead. Two batters later, another throwing error brought Baker home from third to make it a two-run game.
SJU got one back in the top of the seventh. Cuppari and Hueth started the inning with singles, and a James McConnon RBI groundout brought Cuppari around to make it 4-3 at stretch time.
Martin came on in the ninth once again to save the game, this time for Stankiewicz, who improved to 5-1 after allowing two runs in six innings. Matt Kennedy took the loss, falling to 3-2 after allowing four runs – one earned – in 5.1 innings of work.
The teams will play the series finale on Sunday beginning at noon.