ARLINGTON, Va.— Justin Bardwell’s RBI double in the eighth inning broke a two-all tie and gave third-seeded Fordham a 3-2 win over No. 6 VCU in game one of the 2018 Atlantic 10 Baseball Championship at Tucker Field at Barcroft Park.
Fordham (35-17-1) advances to Thursday’s second round to face the winner between No. 2 George Mason and No. 7 George Washington. VCU (34-22) falls into the consolation bracket and will play an elimination game Wednesday night.
Bardwell’s game-winning double came with one out and was a long shot to left center that drove in A-10 Rookie of the Year Jake MacKenzie from second base.
Fordham reliever Kyle Martin (3-2) got the win, throwing two innings of hitless ball. He took over for starter Reiss Knehr, who went seven innings and allowed four hits, two runs while issuing four walks and seven strikeouts. Reliever Benjamin Dum (2-1) took the loss for VCU, allowing one run on three hits with one strikeout.
Early scoring gave the appearance of an offensive outburst by both teams, they settled in and most of the game was a 2-2 tie. Fordham led off the scoring with a first-inning Bardwell single that drove in Billy Godrick. VCU responded with a pair of runs in the second. Steven Carpenter scored first for the black and gold on an error at shortstop, and then Liam Hibbits was
Bardwell and Jake Baker were both 2-for-3 at the plate to lead Fordham, with Bardwell adding a couple of RBI. Lamb was 2-for-4 to pace VCU’s offensive efforts.