NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College baseball team dropped a pair of one run decisions to Manhattan in its 2013 home opener. The Gaels played their first ever contests on their new home field. After the Maroon & Gold came from behind to tie the score in both games, the Jaspers would score the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning.
Manhattan scored twice in the top of the third inning to draw first blood in the opener. Iona halved the deficit in the bottom of the fourth on a two-out infield single by senior 1B Matthew Kriss. The Jaspers regained a two-run cushion with a run in the fifth.
Iona cut the margin to 3-2 in the seventh. Rookie PH Christian Choman laced the first pitch he saw up the middle to plate junior RF Joe Smith from third base. The Gaels knotted the score on a sacrifice fly by sophomore LF Jimmy Guiliano.
In the top of the ninth, Manhattan's Aidan O'Leary led off the inning by reaching on a two-base error. One batter later, Kyle Murphy singled home his teammate to plate the eventual game winning run. The Gaels got two runners on with two out but the Jaspers were able to hold on to the one-run 4-3 victory.
Eight different players recorded hits for Iona in the loss. Senior RHP Conan Leon took the loss after facing three batters in the ninth.
Manhattan's Ramon Ortega went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. RHP Jacob Marchus earned the win in relief.
The Jaspers jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three and a half innings in game two. The Gaels got on the board in the fourth inning. Smith scored the run after Choman was safe at first due to a throwing error by the Manhattan third baseman.
Iona added two more in the sixth in an inning extended by two separate delays to fix the outfield fence due to wind. A Smith single to left field plated Kriss. Choman followed with an RBI single of his own to score Guiliano. Iona's rally when the Jaspers converted a double play.
With two-out in the bottom of the seventh, Kriss singled to right center to score junior CF Joe Torres and knot the score at 4-4.
A one-out, top of the ninth sacrifice fly by Nick Camastro drove in the go-ahead run for the Jaspers.
Ortega posted two more hits while DH Matt Troisi also had a pair of singles for the visiting team. After Marcus allowed the tying run to score in the seventh, RHP Michael Scarinci earned the win with two innings of scoreless relief.
The two teams complete the three-game series at City Park tomorrow at noon.