NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College baseball team jumped ahead early then used a late rally to upend Lehigh 10-7 in non-conference action at Goodman Campus. Four Gaels (3-11) had multiple hit efforts in defeat of the Mountain Hawks (9-9).
Iona manufactured a run in its first at bat. Senior CF Joe Torres singled and proceeded to steal both second and third base. Two batters later, sophomore DH Carmine Palummo earned an RBI on a sacrifice fly.
A three-run two-out second inning rally gave the Maroon & Gold a 4-0 lead. Rookie OF Kyle DiVico led off with an infield hit and was sacrificed to second base. A second infield hit by sophomore LF Travis Mistretta put runners at the corners. Two batters later, the Gaels loaded the bases on senior 2B Bobby Vitulano walk. DiVico scored on the play as the ball got away from the Lehigh catcher. Mistretta moved all the way to third base on the play. After Vitulano stole second, Torres tripled in both base runners to give his team a four-run advantage.
After allowing a run in the bottom of the second, the Gaels quickly got it back in the next frame. With two-on and one out, rookie C Alex Beckett singled home Palummo to put Iona ahead 5-1.
Lehigh had its biggest inning in the bottom of the fourth, scoring six times off Iona starter, sophomore RHP Max Bruckner.
Trailing 7-5, the Gaels got base hits in the fifth and sixth innings, but couldn't scratch across a run.
In the top of the seventh, another two-out rally knotted the score at 7-7. Palummo single up the middle was followed by a two run opposite field line drive home run by sophomore 1B Christian Choman.
The Gaels took the lead for good in the eighth inning. Mistretta drew a leadoff walk and was sacrificed to second. He advanced to third on a Vitulano single. After the senior 2B stole second base, Torres was walked to load the bases. Sophomore SS Vinny DeMaria collected the eventual game winning RBI with a base hit through the left side. Palummo added insurance with a sacrifice fly and Iona led 9-7.
The Gaels final run came in their last at bat when Mistretta scored on an error by the Mountain Hawk shortstop.
Bruckner tossed the first four innings in the no decision. Sophomore RHP Jake Kurz kept Lehigh off the board over the next five frames, allowing three hits and four walks with a strikeout to earn his first win of the season.
DiVico was 3-for-5 with a run scored to lead the Gaels. Torres was 2-for-5 with a run scored, two RBI and two stolen bases. He reached base a third time via the walk. Beckett and Mistretta each had two hits. Beckett drove in a run while Mistretta scored three times in the win. Palummo reached base three times with a hit and two walks, scored twice and drove in two others.
Four Lehigh players had two hits in the loss. Reliever David Young took the loss after allowing two runs in the eighth inning.
The Gaels return home tomorrow for a non-conference tilt with the Big East's Seton Hall.
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