By Devin Jones
The Ryerson Rams dropped two games of a double-header against the McMaster Marauders, losing 5-4 and 7-4, Saturday at Bond Park.
In game one, catcher Travis Gibson went one for four with one RBI and starting pitcher Chris Novachis pitched seven strong innings, as the Marauders handed the Rams their seventh consecutive loss.
“It comes down to execution on certain plays, [and] we had our chances earlier on in the game,” said Rams assistant coach Dan Berlin. “Looking at [a close loss], if you cash in on one of those runs, it’s a tie game instead of being down. Some games are there for the taking, you just have to take it.”
Rams starter Allan Perkins was rocked, allowing four earned runs in five innings in a losing performance.
The Marauders began the scoring off a Travis Flint RBI single that drove home Curtis Lee in the top of the first with two out.
With the Rams trailing three to nothing in the bottom of the third, an RBI single off the bat of Rams third baseman Josh Lund scored Julio Ramirez.
Teams would trade shots in the fifth. An RBI single from Marauders second baseman Cole Lewis put McMaster up 4-1.But the Rams responded in the bottom of the inning, with Ramirez scoring on a Mark Tari groundout.
McMaster scored another run off of Evan Landry’s sacrifice fly to left field making, grabbing a 5-2 lead.
But the Rams rallied in the bottom of the seventh, as catcher Ben Warsh hit a two-run double which scored both second baseman Brett Dimpfel and shortstop Tari, drawing the game close at 5-4.
But, with the tying runner on second base, the comeback was stopped short as left fielder Thomas Bidzinski struck out swinging for the game’s final out.
Warsh shied away from his clutch hit during the game, but instead focused on his team’s performance.
“We need to be in it from the first inning all the way through till the seventh. You saw our intensity spark near the end, but it wasn’t enough,” said the Toronto, Ont., native. “Intensity one through seven is what we need”
In game two, outfielder Jake Chiaravalle went one for three with two RBI while starter Kyle Angelow pitched all seven innings as McMaster’s four-run seventh inning proved decisive for their sweep.
Rams starter Bryan Vardzel was shelled, allowing seven runs in six-and-a-third innings in the Rams final home game of the year.
McMaster opened the scoring in the third inning with a two-run double off the bat of Chiaravall, and Gibson hit a RBI single to take an early 3-0 lead through five.
The Rams would respond in the bottom of the fifth with a four-run inning.
After scoring a run off a bases loaded walk, Ramirez knocked an RBI single to get the Rams within one. With the bases still loaded and one away, shortstop Tari blasted a two RBI double that gave the Rams a 4-3 lead heading into the top of the seventh.
But the Rams let it all slip away in the final inning, as the Marauders responded with a four-run seventh that would snatch victory away from the Rams, and give McMaster the sweep.
An error by first baseman Brendan Grimes allowed McMaster’s Rob Birtles to score, tying the game at four.
Still with nobody out, catcher Evan Landry and second baseman Cole Lewis hit RBI singles, giving them a 6-4 lead. Them with one out, Dimpfel’s misplaying of a routine groundball allowed Flint to score, extending to 7-4.
Any hopes of a Rams rally in the seventh inning were crushed as Angelow went three-up, three down to earn his second win of the year.
“If you were to write a book on our season, it would be about the curse of the one inning,” said head coach Ben Rich. “That’s how we’ve lost most of our games. We’ve told our players game in and game out, you have to play till the last inning.”
With the two losses the Rams drop to 2-15 for as last-place team in the OUA, with seven games left to be played.
The Rams play their next two games, a double-header, against the Laurier Golden Hawks this Tuesday in Waterloo, Ont.