Baseball Drops Rubber Game of A-10 Series to UMass
March 25, 2012
Bronx, N.Y. - Massachusetts pitcher Joe Popielarcyzk tossed a complete game, seven-hitter with a career-high ten strikeouts, as the Minutemen pulled out the rubber game of Atlantic 10 series with the Fordham Rams, 3-1, at Houlihan Park on Sunday.
With the loss, Fordham falls to 8-16 on the year, 1-2 in the Atlantic 10, while Massachusetts improves to 4-7 on the year, 2-1 in the league.
Pitching was the name of the game on Sunday, as Massachusetts starter Joe Popielarczyk and Fordham's Joseph Charest traded zeroes over the first five innings.
Popielarczyk got in some trouble in the second and third innings against the Rams. In the second, Fordham had runners on second and third after a pair of singles with one out. UMass though got out of the frame without any damage, as Stephen McSherry grounded out to first with Zach Small grounding out to the pitcher to end the threat.
Fordham again got two runners on in the third with two outs, but once again came up empty as Ryan Maghini grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.
Charest cruised through five innings, allowing just one base runner, which didn't come until the fifth. He retired the first 14 batters he faced, 10 of which on ground outs.
Charest though would be the first starter to blink, as the Minutemen scored the opening run of the game in the sixth. Nick Sanford reached on an infield single and was sacrificed to second. After a ground out, Sanford moved to third on another infield single by Rob McLam. Charest then issued back-to-back walk to Anthony Serino and Tom Conley to force in Sanford from third.
Massachusetts tacked on two more runs in the seventh, highlighted by an RBI-triple by Kyle Adie and an RBI-single from Rich Graef.
Fordham tried to mount a comeback in the ninth, as Tim Swatek and Mike Mauri both reached on infield singles. McSherry followed with an RBI-single to center, scoring Swatek, but the throw was cut off and thrown back to second, which caught Mauri off the bag for the first out. That out proved crucial as Small then singled to right center, putting runners at the corners with one out, instead of possibly scoring a run. Pinch-hitter Brendan Maghini then grounded into a game-ending double play, giving UMass the 3-1 win.
Charest (1-5) was the hard luck loser, allowing two earned runs on five hits over eight innings of work. Jeremy Adel pitched the final inning for Fordham, recording a strikeout.
At the plate, Swatek was 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Mauri also had two hits.
The Fordham baseball team will next be in action on Wednesday, March 28th, when the Rams play at LIU, beginning at 3:30 PM.