Errors prove costly as Rams drop doubleheader to Marauders
TORONTO - On Saturday afternoon, solid pitching performances in both games were wasted as the Ryerson Rams were swept by McMaster Marauders.
Game One – McMaster 3, Ryerson 0
An old fashioned pitchers duel opened the two game series. Both teams' pitchers were strong on the mound and there were limited base runners. The game went by quickly, ending in just under two hours.
The visiting Marauders started hard-throwing righty, Ryan Clarke, who had an effective combination of his fastball and curveball working throughout the game. McMaster’s starter was able to silence Ryerson’s bats, he allowed only two hits over six innings, while striking out four.
The Rams would counter with Kevin Lucas, who was also in control from the first batter he faced. He threw three perfect innings to start his afternoon before running into some trouble in the fourth.
Following a double from Marauders catcher Jeremy Veilleux, centre fielder Martin Zanette hit a ground ball to third. The throw from third baseman RJ Mienkowski skipped past the first baseman allowing the first run of the game to score. A stolen base and a double by right fielder, Ong, would follow making the score 2-0 McMaster.
From then on, Lucas was in complete control. After a shaky eighth inning, coach Ben Rich decided to keep his starter out there for the ninth. “He was cruising,” said Rich on the decision to keep Lucas out there. “[McMaster] hadn’t barrelled anything up against him.”
Lucas retired the first two batters in the ninth, but he gave up back to back doubles to extend the McMaster lead to 3-0. That was all they needed as Quinn Finch closed the door in relief to earn the save and secure the win.
Player of the game: Kevin Lucas, the big right-hander threw a complete game allowing three runs (only one earned) with six strikeouts, a walk and a hit batter. Special acknowledgment to Lucas’ battery mate, Sam Turcotte. He not only called a great game but threw out two base runners trying to steal second.
Game Two – McMaster 5, Ryerson 4
The Rams battled back from an early deficit in game two. But unfortunately too many errors would steal the win from the Ryerson team.
“We handed them that game,” said coach Rich when asked about his team’s defence. “It’s frustrating… especially at this point of the year when guys know they ought to be better than that.”
The Rams once again fell behind early to McMaster. Ryerson starter, Jack Little, had a 1-2-3 inning in the first, but in the second two errors and some control issues led to three Marauder runs.
The Rams were able to get two runs back in the bottom of the third inning. Mrugen Mehta reached on an error and Daniel Kolominsky was hit by pitch to open the inning. One out later an error by McMaster shortstop, Lucas Da Silva, allowed both runners to score and cut the McMaster lead to one.
That would mark the end of the night for both starting pitchers. Little threw two innings of work with two strikeouts and a walk. Marauders starter Julian Tymochko didn’t have his control today, walking three batters in three innings with two strikeouts before leaving the game.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Rams were able to get to McMaster pitcher, Matt Tyas. An infield single, error and bunt single loaded the bases with no out. Kolominsky hit a sac fly to deep left to tie the game, then Aidan Dolan ripped a line drive single to give the Rams their first lead, 4-3. Tyas would eventually settle in, going 3.1 innings with four strikeouts and one walk.
Rookie Matt Tohana was the first of three Rams relievers to pitch in game two, he pitched 2.1 strong innings, but was let down by poor Ryerson defence. Three consecutive errors, and a mental error by Tohana himself, forgetting to cover first on a ground ball, tied the game.
Justin Stonkus would come in to replace Tohana, and almost got out of the jam with the game still tied. However, a two out hit by pitch, with the bases loaded, would score the winning run. The Rams would drop the second game to the Marauders, 5-4.
Player of the Game: While it may not show on the scoresheet, Matt Tohana was brilliant when he came in for the Rams. Even though he only had one strikeout, he was throwing the ball hard and had lots of movement on his fastball. He had plenty of Marauders shaking their heads while walking back to the dugout. He didn’t walk a batter and was constantly in the strike zone.
Next Up: The Rams are back in action on Sunday September 23rd, at Stan Wadlow Park, against a strong Brock Badgers team. First pitch is 12:00pm.