Fordham Baseball Swept by Saint Joseph’s Over Weekend

As their season enters its final stretch, the Rams failed to capture any momentum and lost three straight, bringing their losing streak to five



Declan Lavelle, FCRH ’24, excelled in his start in the second game of the series.


With about a month left in the regular season, the Fordham baseball team headed down to Philadelphia on April 28 to take on the Saint Joseph’s University (SJU) Hawks. The Rams entered the series near the bottom of the Atlantic 10 (A10) standings but remained in the hunt for the postseason with numerous games against conference opponents ahead. 

Unfortunately, Fordham lost all three games over the weekend and now faces an uphill climb as the season comes to a close. The series showcased a litany of different issues plaguing this year’s team.

The weather for the weekend was dreary, foreshadowing the gloomy play of the Rams. Friday’s game started with an optimistic spark. In the first inning, three singles culminated with Tommy McAndrews, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’26, driving in Ryan Thiesse, Gabelli School of Business at Rose Hill (GSBRH) ’24. McAndrews’ 27th run batted in of the year gave Fordham an early 1-0 lead.

The early game featured the most runs in any match Fordham has played this season.

After quickly jumping ahead, the pace of the game settled. Fordham’s starting pitcher, Declan Lavelle, FCRH ’24, delivered five innings of scoreless ball, striking out three Hawks in the process. Prior to this start, Lavelle had allowed at least two earned runs in each of his last five outings. This time around, he gave up only two hits in total.

Lavelle was replaced after five innings of work with Nolan Hughes, GSBRH ’24. The Hawks capitalized against the inconsistent lefty almost immediately. Facing his first batter, outfielder Brett Callahan, SJU ’24, pulled a ball into right field and raced around the bases for a triple. A few batters later, Justin Igoe, SJU ’24, drove him in with a sacrifice fly — a fly ball that allowed the runner to tag up from third — to knot the game at one apiece.

When the Hawks came to bat in the bottom of the seventh, it was Callahan making something happen once again. After two consecutive singles, Hughes was lifted from the game in favor of Ben Kovel, GSBRH ’23. The switch proved ineffective as Callahan immediately singled to drive in what would be the game’s winning run. The Rams loaded the bases in the ninth but failed to cash in any runs and lost the opener of the series, 2-1. 

On Saturday, the two teams geared up for a doubleheader in more somber weather. The early game featured the most runs in any match Fordham has played this season. Once again, the Rams got off to a hot start. Zach Selinger, FCRH ’23, smoked a three-run homer to put Fordham ahead in the top of the first inning.

The lead, however, would not last for long. Saint Joseph’s scored seven unanswered runs, capped by a two-run home run by Luca Trigiani, SJU ’23, in the bottom of the third. Despite falling behind, the Rams refused to relent.

In the next half inning, Fordham’s bats put on a clinic. The inning featured four hits, a walk, three Rams hit by pitches, and six runs to put Fordham back in front, 9-7. Whatever momentum the Rams had built was promptly zapped the next inning.

The Hawks scored not four, not eight, but 12 runs in a monstrous single-inning offensive performance. At two separate points in the inning, Saint Joseph’s strung together four consecutive hits. By the end of the onslaught, the Hawks had taken a comfortable 19-9 lead and drained the confidence that the Rams had built the inning prior.

Each team added some runs, and the final score ended up at 23-10. Fordham prepared for its second game of the day, facing a potential sweep at the hands of their intraconference opponent. 

Numerous things will have to break Fordham’s way for the team to find itself competing for an A10 championship this season.

While the Rams had gotten off to prosperous starts in each of the first two games, Saint Joseph’s maintained control of the final game of the series throughout. After retiring Fordham’s first three batters in order in the top of the first, the Hawks scored four runs in the bottom of the inning. 

Saint Joseph’s tacked on two more runs, one in the second and one in the fourth, extending its lead to six. The Hawks scored their final run of the game in the sixth when Ryan Cesarini, SJU ’25, smacked a double into left field and drove in his second run of the day. Meanwhile, Hawks starting pitcher, Domenic Picone, SJU ’24, held the Rams scoreless through eight dominant innings. 

The Rams would go on to plate a run in the top of the ninth but ultimately fell by a score of 7-1. The Hawks completed their sweep, and Fordham dropped to 3-9 in A10 play with nine conference games remaining. 

For two games this series, Fordham’s batters uncharacteristically struggled. Additionally, Fordham’s pitchers allowed at least seven runs in two of the games, with one of the games featuring so many runs that a comeback by the hitters was virtually impossible. The Rams have now lost eight of their last 10 matches, with this recent slump coming at a pivotal moment for the team.

The Rams now find themselves second to last in the conference standings. Crazier things have happened, yet numerous things will have to break Fordham’s way for the team to find itself competing for an A10 championship this season. 

One source of optimism may be that the Rams’ next seven games will be played at the Rose Hill campus. Competing in front of Fordham’s passionate fans may provide the jolt that this squad needs to make a run, leading up to the end of the regular season. 

Fordham’s next conference series will begin on May 5 against the Patriots from George Mason University. The Patriots sit at exactly .500 in both conference play, as well as overall. A strong showing next weekend may be just what the Rams need to jumpstart their 2023 campaign.