NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College baseball team dropped its series opener with Canisius 5-2 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action at City Park. The Gaels held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before four unanswered runs by the Griffs in the fifth and eighth innings proved to be the difference.
Iona got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. Junior 2B Bobby Vitulano executed a text book hit and run with runners on first and second, finding the hole vacated by the Canisius second baseman. Junior CF Joe Torres raced around from second base to give the Gaels a 1-0 lead.
With the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the third, Griffs C Brooklyn Foster picked up an RBI on a fielder's choice. Senior RHP Derrick Bligh inherited the three runners and allowed just that one to score inducing two more groundballs to get out of the inning.
In the third, senior 3B Matthew Kriss scored on an RBI fielder's choice by junior RF Joe Smith to make the score 2-1.
Canisius scored twice in its half of the fifth inning. Griffs 1B Jimmy Luppens knotted the score at 2-2 with a run scoring double with a runner on first and nobody out. Third baseman Jesse Puscheck drove in the go-ahead run with one out on a sacrifice fly.
An infield single by CF Mike Krische with the bases loaded plated Canisius' fourth run while Luppens earned his second RBI of the game on a ground out one batter later.
Vitulano and Kriss had two hits in the contest. Vitulano had the Gaels' lone extra base hit with a two-out double in the ninth inning.
Senior RHP Matt Marley tossed the first two innings and picked up a no decision. Bligh took the loss.
Canisius OF Christian Segar reached base all five times with four hits and a walk. DH Brett Siddall and RF Chris Gruarin each recorded two hits. RHP Garrett Cortright pitched a complete game allowing seven hits with three strikeouts.
The two teams complete the series tomorrow with a doubleheader beginning at noon at City Park.
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