Kownacki's Leap Caps Amazing 12-9 Comeback Win Over Iona
April 21, 2010
Bronx, N.Y. - It's not often that one play would overshadow an incredible team effort comeback from a 9-1 deficit, but Fordham's Brian Kownacki tried. His leap over Iona catcher James Beck to score on Chris Walker's go-ahead hit in the bottom of the eighth inning highlighted a nine-run rally to give Fordham a 12-9 victory over the Iona College Gaels at Houlihan Park.
With the win, Fordham improves to 13-22 overall, while Iona drops to 6-26 overall.
The Rams' however got some solid pitching from reliever James Stone, allowing just two hits with four strikeouts over 3.1 innings of work, keeping Fordham in the game.
Fordham then tallied single runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings to pull within 9-3. In the sixth, Michael Taddei led off with a double and scored on an RBI-single from Stephen McSherry, while in the seventh, Ryan McCrann and P.J. Como pulled off a double steal from first and third with Como taking home.
Everything then went Fordham's way in the eighth, which began in the field, as with one out, Ryan Maghini made a diving stop to his right, and turned an amazing 5-4-3 double play, keeping the Fordham deficit at six.
In the bottom half of the frame, the Rams sent 13 batters to the plate, which began with McSherry reaching on an error and advancing to third on two wild pitches. Brian Kownacki was then hit by a pitch for the second time in the game to put runners at first and third. After a pop out, Nick Martinez singled to right to score McSherry, cutting the deficit to 9-4.
P.J. Como then hit a ground ball to third, which Chris Burke forced out Kownacki at third, but Como beat the double play throw to keep the inning going. Ryan McCrann followed with a double to left center, scoring Martinez with Como moving to third, making it a 9-5 game.
Iona went to the bullpen, bringing in Anthony Castellitto to face Fordham's Ryan Lee. Lee ended up drawing a walk with the final pitch, going to the backstop, allowing Como to score on a wild pitch, putting Fordham behind by three, 9-6. Taddei then served a single to left center to score McCrann, but the Iona centerfielder, Anthony Muccio, fumbled the ball, allowing Lee to score from first, making it, 9-8.
Castellitto then hit Angelo Ponte with a pitch, putting runners at first and second. That ended Castellitto's night, as Matt Petro came in from the bullpen, while Matt DeSilva pinch ran for Ponte. McSherry, with his second plate appearance of the inning, drew a walk from Petro, loading the bases for Kownacki. Kownacki was then hit by a pitch for the third time in the game to force in Taddei for the tying run.
Kownacki then leaped over the top of Beck without a tag, and landed with a handstand on home plate, capping off a nine-run rally, giving Fordham their first lead of the game at 12-9.
Iona still had hope in the ninth as the Gaels got the potential tying run to the plate, but Fordham's Jordan Grangard nailed down his first save of the season, pitching a scoreless ninth and striking out pinch-hitter Kyle Charron to end the ballgame.
Fordham reliever Jeremy Adel (1-0) was the beneficiary off the Rams' comeback, recording his first collegiate win, and he pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
At the plate, McCrann was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI, while Taddei was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Como and McSherry each scored two runs with Walker having two RBI. Ironically, Kownacki did not have an official at bat, as he was hit by a pitch three times in three plate appearances.
The Fordham baseball team will next be in action on Wednesday, April 21, when they play at St. John's, beginning at 6:00 PM.