Photo by Alex D'Addese

Losing streak continues as Rams shutout by Badgers

By Jacob Goldbach

TORONTO - It was a tough day for the Ryerson Rams. Although they played fundamentally sound baseball, the Rams offence was stymied by the Brock Badgers pitchers and were shutout in both games.

Game 1: Brock 4, Ryerson 0
Despite a scoreless game through five innings, the Badgers were able to defeat the Rams fuelled by a three-run sixth inning.

Pitching and defense ruled game one. Badgers starting pitcher, Alex Nolan, was the clear star of the game. He pitched a complete game shutout, while striking out 12. He set the tone early establishing a dominant fastball, then proceeded to work in his off-speed and breaking pitches. He had the Rams hitters off balance all game.

On the other side, the Rams gave the ball to veteran, Jeremias Sucre. He struggled early on, loading the bases in the first inning on a single and a pair of walks. He was able to get out of it without allowing a run, however raised his pitch count early (30 pitches). He settled down nicely after that, as he and Nolan exchanged multiple scoreless innings.

In the top of the sixth, the Badgers finally broke through. After a leadoff single, a walk, and a sacrifice bunt, the Badgers scored the first run of the game thanks to some heads-up baserunning. On a ground ball to third baseman Kyle Conquer, Badger Noah Koffman dashed home after Conquer threw the ball to first, barely beating the tag. They added two more runs in the inning, before Sucre was pulled for Logan Kerry, who was excellent in relief. Kerry threw 3.1 innings, allowing just one run.

Offensively, the star of the game was Badgers shortstop Koffman. The 2017 second team all-star had Sucre’s number.  He collected three hits off the righty and was also very strong defensively as well.

Overall, this game was a fine start to the day for the Rams. They got runners on base and had solid pitching. But it was the lack of timely hitting that was their undoing.

Game 2: Brock 11, Ryerson 0 (5 innings)
The second game was a struggle for Ryerson from the beginning. They were defeated in all aspects of the game.

They gave the ball to veteran Kevin MacDonald to start the game. He struggled, allowing runs in both the first and second innings. It was the third inning, however, where the dominant Badger lineup took command of the game. The Badgers were able to tally six runs on eight hits. After getting two outs, MacDonald allowed a single to Nathan Laird, bringing in the third run of the inning. This ended MacDonald’s day, and Ryerson went to the bullpen. Matt MacDowell and Mark Rizzotto were needed to get the final out, but the damage had already been done, as the Badgers were up 8-0.

After putting up two more runs in the top of the fourth, the Badgers put the nail in the coffin with a home run to dead-centre from left fielder Connor Humphrey in the fifth.

From a pitching standpoint  Badger starting pitcher, Chase Porter, was dominant. He threw three shutout innings, allowing just one hit. Jacob Ebbs and Matthew Balkwill both threw shutout innings in relief, as the Badgers went on to defeat the Rams, 11-0.

It was a tough day for the Rams against one of the OUA’s traditionally strong teams.

“Like any team that’s successful in this league, they don’t beat themselves,” said pitching coach Jon Rubin, when asked about what makes Brock such a tough opponent. “They make you play good baseball…it’s no secret formula.”

The Rams have now lost six straight, including four at home. They end their homestand next weekend with a doubleheader on Saturday against Laurentian.

When asked what his thoughts were heading into the final stretch, Rubin said, “We want to start to turn the page and put some of these rough outings behind us…the season’s more than halfway done and we’re a long way from where we need to be.”

Up Next: Ryerson Rams host Laurentian Voyageurs on September 30th, at Stan Wadlow Park. First pitch at 12:00 pm.

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