ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – Pierce Hendershot drilled a bases-clearing double off the fence in straight-away center, erasing a two-run deficit and sending the Bonnies to a wild 12-11 victory over Fordham in the nightcap of a doubleheader Friday afternoon at Handler Park. The Rams came away with a 2-1 win in the first game.
GAME 1 – Fordham 2, St. Bonaventure 1 | Box Score (PDF)
The Bonnies and the Rams found themselves in a pitcher's duel with both pitchers going the distance in game one.
On the bump for the Bonnies was Elijah Baez who surrendered just two earned runs on six hits and struck out six along the way.
Tyler Kelder got things started at the plate in the bottom of the first, belting a no-doubt solo home run to left-center off likely A-10 Pitcher of the Year Matt Mikulski, who drew a number of scouts to the game as one of MLB.com's top 50 prospects in this summer's draft. For Kelder, who was playing at second base for the first time in his Bona career, it marked his ninth homer of the season and 27th in a Bonnies uniform, fourth all-time in the program record books.
The Rams pulled even in the top of the second when Trae Maeker reached base on a fielder's choice, scoring one on the play.
Fordham plated the go-ahead run in the top of the fourth on an RBI single from C.J. Vasquez.
That would be all the run support Mikulski would need as he struck out 12 Bona batters in the contest.
Baez was tagged with a tough-luck loss after throwing 61 of his 90 pitches for strike and not walking a batter while fanning six in a complete game effort.
GAME 2 – St. Bonaventure 12, Fordham 11 (10 innings) | Box Score (PDF)
Fordham led early, plating a run in each of the first two innings, but the Bonnies responded with five in the second to take the lead.
Danny Manion put the Bonnies on the board with a blast to left-center, tying the game at 2-2. Later in the inning, Matthew Williams delivered a three-run bomb to right, his second of the series, for a 5-2 advantage.
The Rams (23-19, 10-9) scored three times in the third for the tie, but St. Bonaventure quickly responded with the second home run of the day from Manion. Again a two-run shot, Manion's second homer was a titanic blast that left the field easily over the left-centerfield fence.
Bona led by two until the sixth when Fordham scored on a sacrifice fly, then the Rams tied the game in their last at-bat before extras as Richard Grund singled home a run for a 7-7 deadlock.
Starting extra innings, Jason Coules immediately gave the Rams a 9-7 edge after a homer to left, but the Bonnies would not go quietly.
Kelder first drove in a run with a single up the middle, setting the stage for extra dramatics. Redshirt senior pitcher Donovan Moffat, taking his first collegiate at-bat due to injuries in the Bonnies lineup, stung a ball to right that scored Williams from third for sacrifice fly and another tie.
Both teams went scoreless in the ninth before the Rams plated two in the 10th for another two-run lead.
The Bonnies would rally, loading the bases following a pair of walks. Hendershot then drilled a 1-1 offering from Fordham reliever Jack Popolizio that landed up against the fence in the deepest part of the park. All three runners came across with Kelder scoring from first with the winning run.
The game went over three hours and 40 minutes and saw 29 combined hits. Hendershot, Myers and Williams all had three hits while Manion and Williams combined for seven RBIs between them.
Tripp Breen threw two innings, striking out two and earning his first collegiate victory. Cody Shimp also tossed a scoreless frame of relief with Kyle Caringi (2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER) and Murphy O'Brien (2.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER) also working multiple innings out of the bullpen.
The two teams complete the season Saturday at noon with senior ceremonies following the game.
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