BRONX, N.Y. – Outstanding starting pitching was the story in the first day of Atlantic 10 baseball action for both St. Bonaventure and Fordham – the Bonnies benefitted from a great start in game one for a 7-4 victory in Friday's opener before the Rams bounced back for a 4-1 decision in the nightcap.
GAME 1 – St. Bonaventure 7, Fordham 4
Bonnies junior left-hander Liam Devine made his first Atlantic 10 appearance one to remember as he held the Rams, picked to finish second in the Atlantic 10 preseason poll, at bay for most of the afternoon.
The Canadian southpaw came up two outs shy of a complete game, scattering six hits over his 8.1 innings of work while striking out seven and allowing four runs.
Fordham (13-7, 1-1 A-10) jumped on the board with a three-run spot in the fourth and seemed to be in control until the Bonnies changed the complexion of the game in the sixth.
The Bonnies (2-9, 1-1) sent nine men to the plate in the frame, getting on the board with an RBI single from Branden Myers. Garrett Boldt followed with a rocket to right-center to plate two more for the tie and the Brown and White pushed ahead with a double just inside the bag at third off the bat from Kevin Higgins to bring two more runs across.
Bona added two insurance runs in the eighth as Jackson DeJohn worked a bases loaded walk before Higgins raced in following a wild pitch.
The insurance runs came in handy during the ninth. Devine was lifted with one on and one out in the final frame after tossing 110 pitches. The Rams forced home a run and sent the tying run to the plate with two outs, but Donovan Moffat coaxed a fly ball out to left that Ben Berger tracked down to put out the fire and lock down the win.
Higgins went 3-for-4 while Boldt had two hits to pace the offense. Moffat was credited with his 10th career save.
GAME 2 – Fordham 4, St. Bonaventure 1 F/7 innings
Bona jumped on top early following a two-out, first inning blast off the bat of Tyler Kelder, the fourth of the season and 22nd for the career of the redshirt junior. The homer ties Kelder for fifth in Bonnies history along with Eric Wilson '04 and Jonathan Myler '01.
Unfortunately for the Bonnies, that would be the only damage done against Fordham starter Garrett Crowley.
Crowley was masterful, striking out 15 while working a complete game in the scheduled seven-inning contest, allowing just two hits and one walk in 104 pitches.
The only other Bonnies player to reach base against Crowley was Higgins who had the team's other hit and also worked a walk.
Moffat got the start and pitched well, allowing four runs on eight hits with one strikeout and no walks. He threw 46 of his 65 pitches for strikes.
Now with 73 appearances in a Bonnies uniform, Moffat moved into second place in SBU career appearances by passing Cody Vincent '08.
The Bonnies and Rams will play another doubleheader Saturday – game one being scheduled for seven innings and the finale for nine – at noon.
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