PISCATAWAY, NJ - Rutgers used a three-run fifth inning to take the lead for good in a 6-3 win over the Iona College baseball team in non-conference action at Bainton Field.
The Maroon & Gold scored once in the middle three innings. Palummo tripled home junior CF Joe Torres in the fourth, Sand drove in junior RF Joe Smith in the fifth and sophomore LF Jimmy Guiliano plated senior SS Matthew Kriss in the sixth on a groundout.
Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth, the Scarlet Knights scored three unearned runs off rookie RHP Mariano Rivera and never trailed. Rutgers' DH Jeff Melillo delivered the big blow, a two-out, two run home run in the inning.
The Gaels used six pitchers in the loss. Sophomore RHP Steve Basile, senior RHP Matt Marley and senior LHP Anthony LaFauci tossed the first four allowing a run on four hits. Rivera took the loss, tossing 2.2 innings with two earned runs and a strikeout. Rookie LHP Jake Kurz and RHP Andrew Pucillo closed it out.
Rutgers' starter Pat O'Leary earned the win in a five inning effort.
The Gaels continue action on the road at Niagara in a three-game series in Western New York Saturday and Sunday.