Photo by Alex D'Addese

Rams come up short, swept in doubleheader by Blues

By Dylan Hammond

TORONTO, Ont. - After a long day on the road Saturday, the Rams dropped both games of their doubleheader against the Varsity Blues on Sunday.

Game One – Toronto 4, Ryerson 3
The Varsity Blues handed the ball to OUA veteran, Peter Nash, to start game one of Sunday’s doubleheader. Nash cruised through three innings, but in the fourth he seemed to lose his control. He hit Rams designated hitter, Aidan Dolan, with a fastball to open the inning. Two outs later he walked the bases loaded. Daniel Kolominsky put the Rams ahead 2-0 with a base-hit and a throwing error by shortstop Roy Suzuki. A wild pitch later would give the Rams their third run.

Nash would finish the inning and shut down the Rams through seven innings, allowing three runs on three hits and five walks while striking out five.

Rookie right-hander,  Kevin Lucas, got the start for the first game of Sunday’s doubleheader for Ryerson. Similar to his Toronto counterpart, he would be cruising through three until the fourth. Varsity Blues all-star first baseman, Taylor Young-Shultz, singled in Suzuki and then would later score with the help of a Ryerson error. This would cut the lead to 3-2.

Toronto would add another in the fifth to tie the game and end the afternoon for Lucas. He pitched 4.1 innings, striking out four and allowing three runs on five hits and a walk.

Right-hander, Matt Tohana, made his OUA regular season debut in relief of Lucas, throwing 1.2 innings of shutout ball, giving up just one hit.  “I felt pretty good,” Tohana said after the game. “Starting to get a feel for OUA baseball, for sure.”

The Varsity Blues scored the deciding run in the eighth inning off of reliever, Max Dieks. Young-Shultz walked, stole second base and advanced on an error, before coming home to score on a single by Hadfield.

Blues reliever, Grant Shantz, was able to shut down the Rams’ offense in two innings of relief. He struck out three, allowing no runs on a hit and three walks. The Rams threatened with two men reaching in both the eighth and ninth innings, but were unable to score. Rams dropped game one 4-3.

Game Two - Toronto 9, Ryerson 1
The story was quite different for game two of the doubleheader. Ryerson started rookie, Mitch Fiacco, who struggled to find his control. He would be relieved five batters into the game by righty, Jack Little. Varsity Blues would score six runs off of one hit, three walks, a HBP and an error in the first inning.

Little, who earned the win Saturday after pitching well in relief against Queen’s, followed up with another stellar outing. He pitched three innings and allowing just the one unearned run on four hits.

“Mitch said it off well, saying ‘just pick me up man,’ and set from there.” Little said after the game, on inheriting a jam in the first. “Focus batter to batter, not focus on what’s going on behind. Just batter to batter, pitch by pitch.”

Matt MacDowell relieved Little in the fourth, pitched two strong innings in a bounce back performance after struggling in his previous outings. “I felt this was my best [game] of the season so far, little trouble with command but I think I found it today,” said MacDowell, when asked what was working for him. “Basically staying in my lane, not veering left or right.” MacDowell allowed no runs on four hits in his outing.

Sam Turcotte impressively caught both games for Ryerson in the doubleheader, after also working both games the previous day in Kingston. “Pretty tired out there,” Turcotte admitted with a chuckle. “Couple injuries, couple sore arms… gotta step up and do what the team needs and try and do my best.” Turcotte finished game two 2-2 with a sacrifice bunt, and also threw out a runner trying to steal second.

The Varsity Blues sent big left-hander, Dean Christidis, to the mound for game two. He effectively shutdown the Rams over four innings allowing one run on five hits and striking out two. Kyle Conquer drove in the only run of the game for Ryerson on a groundout.

Toronto would add three more in the sixth to win 9-1 and sweep the doubleheader.

Up Next: The Rams begin a stretch of six games at Stan Wadlow Park. On September 22 Ryerson will host the McMaster Marauders. First pitch is at 12 pm.

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