LOUDONVILLE, NY - The Iona College baseball team earned a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference series win over Siena with a 4-3 victory at Siena Field. The Gaels (11-19, 4-5 MAAC) needed a game-ending 4-6-3 double play with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to seal the victory.
Junior RHP Matt Marley allowed a run on five hits in 6.1 innings of work to earn his second win of the season. Marley was relieved by junior RHP Thomas Kriss in the seventh with the bases loaded and one out. Kriss got out of the jam with a strikeout and a ground ball to end the inning. Kriss was picked up in the ninth inning by rookie LHP John Nargoski. The freshman walked the first batter he faced before inducing the game-winning double play. Nargoski earned his first collegiate save.
Offensively, Iona got on the board in their first at bat. With two out, senior 1B Michael Chiaravalloti singled to right center. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, he came home to score on an RBI base hit by senior LF/C James Beck.
A two-out double by CF Tyler Bell in the bottom of the third knotted the score at 1-1.
In the fourth, sophomore CF Joe Torres walk was followed by junior SS Matthew Kriss getting hit by a pitch. A sac bunt by junior C Sean Menickella put runners on second and third with one out. Torres crossed on a wild pitch before Kriss was plated by sophomore 2B Bobby Vitulano's sacrifice fly.
After escaping the jam in the bottom of the seventh, Iona scored what would turn out to be a key insurance run in the top of the ninth. Vitulano was sacrificed to second after a leadoff single. Senior 3B Chris Burke laced a double to left center field to pick up an RBI. He was stranded on second base before the pivotal bottom of the ninth.
Two straight errors to start the frame nearly led to the Gaels undoing. 1B Ken Kirshner doubled home the first run as the Saints put the tying run on second with no outs. An RBI groundout by SS Ryan Metzler pushed the equalizer to third base. Bell drew a walk and Tom Kriss was relieved by Nargoski. Bell proceeded to swipe second to put both the tying and winning runs in scoring position. After falling behind 0-2, 2B Vincent Citro worked out a walk to load the bases. On the first pitch he saw, C Kyle Baldani smoked a one hopper right at Vitulano, who turned and fired to Matt Kriss for the first out. Chiaravalloti made a spectacular play at first on a slightly wild throw and saved the game as he just held the bag stretching to grab the final out.
Burke posted two hits while six other Gaels posted one in the win.
The Gaels are in action in two non-conference games this week to complete a 10-game road trip. Iona travels to Stony Brook Tuesday (Apr. 10) and Hartford Wednesday (Apr. 11).
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