By: Kyle Janowicz – Staff Writer
After a strong 2-1 start in Atlantic 10 Conference play, the University of Dayton baseball team dropped two in a three game series to Fordham University.
The Flyers faced the Rams for the first time this season Friday, March 28, at 1 p.m. at Houlihan Park in New York, N.Y., taking a 6-3 decision.
Dayton started the game scoring a run in each of the first four innings. The scoring came off of a single by sophomore outfielder/first baseman Aaron Huesman, a double by fifth-year senior catcher Kuris Duggan, and a sacrifice fly from outfielder Zach Schira respectively through the first four innings.
Redshirt junior right-handed pitcher Noah Buettgen complimented the Flyers offense by pitching a shutout for the first six innings. The Rams finally responded with a 3-run inning in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two runs on a double by junior outfielder Matthew Cianci and another on a single by senior outfielder Tim Swatek, bringing the Rams within one run of Dayton.
The Flyers quickly responded, bringing home two runs off a Duggan single in the top of the eighth. Buettgen went on to pitch two more shutout innings to finish what was his first complete game of the season, allowing eight hits while striking out five batters.
Duggan and Huesman led the Flyers’ offense with three hits each.
Fordham 6, Dayton 3
Saturday, March 29, the Flyers faced the Rams for a second time, finding themselves behind early in the game. The Rams jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first on singles from Swatek and senior infielder Rob McCunney.
The Flyers responded with Duggan’s RBI single in the second, but were quickly answered by the Rams who brought in two more runs, one in the fifth off a Swatek groundout and the other coming in the sixth off a wild pitch.
Once again Dayton responded, this time with two runs as junior first baseman AJ Ryan brought home a pair of runners with a double in the top of the eighth. Fordham freshman infielder Mark Donadio lined out to bring in one more run for the Rams in the bottom half of the inning, and play was later discontinued due to terrible weather conditions.
Sophomore right handed pitcher Charlie Dant suffered his third loss of the season giving up seven hits and earning four runs. Ryan led the Flyers in batting with three hits, as they were dealt their second loss in A-10 competition.
Fordham 5, Dayton 4
In the afternoon Saturday, the two teams faced off in the second game of what turned into a two-day doubleheader. The game’s start was pushed up a day after originally being scheduled for Sunday, March 29, but ended up finishing Sunday after a weather delay.
The Flyers quickly surged to a 3-0 lead as Ryan hit a bases clearing double in the top of the first to bring home three Dayton runners. Fordham answered with a run in the second inning off a dropped fly ball, bringing home McCunney.
The Rams followed with another run in the third on an RBI single by sophomore Joseph Runco. He also scored later when the Flyers dropped another fly ball in the sixth inning, cutting Dayton’s lead to one.
Dayton returned the favor with a run of its own on an RBI double by redshirt junior outfielder Alex Harris in the top of the seventh. However, the game was delayed by rain and wasn’t finished until the next day.
The Flyers were held scoreless for the rest of the game. The Rams scored two more runs in the eighth inning as sophomore catcher Charles Galiano hit a double to right center field.
Flyer sophomore right handed pitcher Nick Weybright was handed his second loss of the season, allowing three hits and striking out one batter in the 5-4 loss.
The team looks to rebound from its consecutive A-10 losses as the Flyers face the University of Massachusetts in a three-game series in Amherst, Massachusetts starting Friday, April 4, at 3 p.m.