BRONX, N.Y. – The Saint Joseph’s baseball team suffered a tough loss on Saturday, dropping the series finale at Fordham, 2-1, at Houlihan Park.
With the game tied at one in the bottom of the eighth, the Rams kicked off the inning with consecutive singles. Tim Brennan then hit Mark Donadio and Justin Bardwell with pitches to bring in what turned out to be the winning run.
It was another strong day for pitching, as SJU’s Lucas Rollins and Fordham’s Jimmy Murphy kept both sides off the scoreboard until the sixth. Murphy retired 11 Hawks in a row at one point, while Rollins sent down nine consecutive Rams in the middle innings as well.
Saint Joseph’s (10-18 overall, 3-6 Atlantic 10) took the lead in the top of the sixth, as Deon Stafford, Jr., hit a first-pitch solo home run to right, his fifth of the season, to make it a 1-0 game.
Fordham (18-13 overall, 7-4 Atlantic 10) equalized in the bottom of the inning. Matthew Kozuch hit a one-out double before Rollins hit Jake Baker with a pitch. Brennan then came on in relief and walked Donadio before striking out Bardwell. Unfortunately for the Crimson and Gray. Brennan’s 3-2 offering to Matt Tarabek came too far inside and Kozuch came across with the tying run.
The Hawks had a chance to go ahead again right away, loading the bases with one out in the seventh, but Murphy induced a ground ball and started an inning-ending double play.
Murphy went eight innings, allowing one run on five hits and three walks while striking out seven to improve to 4-4. Alvin Melendez threw a scoreless ninth for his third save of the season.
Brennan took the loss, falling to 2-3 after allowing a run on two hits to go with four strikeouts. Rollins was charged with a run on three hits in five and a third innings, striking out three.
The Hawks return to action on Tuesday at Delaware before returning home for a three-game series with Richmond.