Rams Catcher Jonathan Fagnola looks upward in disbelief after striking out. (Photo: Peter Ash)

Rams baseball, plagued by inconsistency, drop double-header against McMaster

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By Peter Ash

The Ryerson Rams baseball team didn’t get the start they were hoping for on the opening weekend of their 2017 season, taking a 10-0 loss in the first game of a double-header and falling 12-7 in the second to the McMaster Marauders at Stan Wadlow Park Saturday afternoon.

It was a disappointing pair of games for the Rams, who were coming off a 9-3 exhibition victory against the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks on Sept. 2.

In the first game, Rams starting pitcher Quinn Cumming struggled mightily, giving up six runs on eight hits in six innings of work. Cumming, fresh off an inconsistent exhibition start against McGill, wasn’t able to bounce back and handle the Marauders, instead dealing with a bevy of command issues during the game.

“I just couldn’t get underneath their (batters),” Cumming said during an inning switch. “And when I finally started to get underneath, they figured things out.”

Marauders starting pitcher Julian Tymochko had a much better outing, giving his squad a strong five scoreless innings to lead McMaster to the win.

Tymochko received a great amount of help from his batters, as McMaster pounced on the Rams early in the game. Marauders first-year catcher Giovanni Martino was a thorn in the Rams’ sides, driving in three runs in his three plate appearances.

In the bottom of the first inning, it seemed like the Rams were on the verge of making things interesting, loading the bases with no outs. Despite creating some momentum, the home team wouldn’t be able to capitalize as Tymochko struck out his next three batters to end the threat.

And the whiffs didn’t stop there; in all, Ryerson struck out 11 times in the opening game.

The Marauders didn’t hold back as the game continued, cashing in on a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning and a few RBI singles in the top of the eighth to put the game out of reach for good.

In the backend of the double-header, the Rams finally showed some signs of life.

Despite being down 3-0 early on, Ryerson battled back strong, churning out a seven-run third inning behind a bases-clearing double by veteran outfielder Jared Armstrong.

Unfortunately for the Rams, the Marauders continued to make Ryerson pay for their inconsistent pitching, driving in six runs in the next two innings, including a five-run sixth that gave McMaster a 9-7 lead. Soon, the Rams trailed by five, and they were never able to close that gap.

Rams head coach Ben Rich noted his team’s inconsistencies hurt them in both games. If the team has a shot at beating the University of Guelph Sunday, they’ll need to play with a lot more urgency, he said.

“Sometimes, it comes from having some grit out there,” Rich said. “Having that will to win and the will to prepare for it. So that’s what the guys are going to have to sleep on tonight, come out tomorrow and take onto the field in every component of their game.”

UP NEXT: The Rams will look to redeem themselves Sept. 10, when they take on the 1-1 Guelph Gryphons at 12:00 p.m.

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