LOUDONVILLE, NY - The Iona College baseball team forged a doubleheader split with Siena in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action at Siena Field. The Gaels (10-19, 3-5 MAAC) dropped the opener 3-0 before taking the nightcap 2-1.
The Maroon & Gold had opportunities to strike first in each of its first three at bats, only to strand at least one runner each time.
The Saints got on the board in the bottom of the third inning. SS Ryan Metlzer got on base on a one out double to left centerfield. He was pushed to third on an infield hit by 2B Vincent Citro and then scored on a wild pitch to give Siena a 1-0 advantage.
Siena scratched across its second run in the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly and a third in the seventh on a RF John Rooney base hit.
Iona had an opportunity in the seventh with two out and the bases loaded, but starter Ryan Poplawski got out of the jam by inducing a popup.
Senior LF Colin Lyall was 3-for-4 and sophomore CF Joe Torres was 2-for-4 in the loss. Sophomore LHP Eddie Macaluso (2-4) struck out seven in eight innings of work.
Poplawski (1-5) scattered seven hits in the complete game shut out with nine strikeouts. Three Saints, including Citro posted two hits in the opener.
All three runs in the second game were scored in the fourth inning. Senior 1B Michael Chiaravalloti blasted his third home run of the season with senior LF Chris Burke on first base to account for the Gaels two tallies. Chiaravalloti went the other way as his ball caught a gust of wind and landed over the wall in left centerfield.
In the bottom of the fourth, after back-to-back singles to start the inning, senior RHP Derrick Bligh relieved rookie RHP John Daddino. A base hit by 3B Brian Fay cut the deficit in half. After a ground out put runners on second and third, the Gaels got a second out by cutting down the potential tying run at home. With the bases loaded, Bligh struck out CF Tyler Bell to end the threat.
The single allowed to his first batter faced was the lone hit that Bligh would allow. After allowing a walk to the leadoff batter in the fifth, Bligh retired nine straight to end the contest and pick up his second win of the season.
The Gaels had a chance for an insurance run in both the fifth and seventh innings. With one out and a runner on third, the Saints converted a 9-2 double play on a sacrifice fly attempt in the fifth. Iona stranded the bases loaded in their final at bat.
Five different Gaels were responsible for the teams five hits. Including Burke and Chiaravalloti in the fourth, Lyall, junior SS Matthew Kriss and senior 3B Eric Capowski picked up singles in the win.
Bligh tossed four innings and allowed a hit in the walk in relief. He combined with Daddino to allow just four Siena hits in the contest.
James Murray (1-1) took the loss for the Saints.
The two teams complete the three-game series tomorrow at noon at Siena Field.