PISCATAWAY, NJ - A wild ninth-inning comeback attempt fell just short in the Iona College baseball team's 7-5 loss to the American Conference's Rutgers in non-conference action at Bainton Field. The Gaels scored all five runs in their final at bat in the defeat.
Rutgers built their 7-0 lead with two runs in the second, fifth and seventh innings and a single run in the bottom of the eighth.
Rookie C Alex Beckett came off the bench to start the ninth inning and recorded his first collegiate home run. A base hit by senior RF Joe Smith was followed by a pinch hit double by rookie Nick Hogan. Sophomore DH Zach Brown scored smith from third base with a sacrifice fly. Rookie IF Tyler Bruno singled home Hogan. After a wild pitch and senior IF Bobby Vitulano's single, senior CF Joe Torres plated Bruno for the team's fourth of the inning. Senior 3B Chris Sand joined the hit parade with another single. With the tying run on first base, Rutgers reliever Jon Young recorded the final two outs to earn the save.
Bruno was the lone Gael with multiple hits. He was 2-for-2 with a run scored, an RBI and two walks, reaching base in all four plate appearances.
Rookie RHP Bill Maier took the loss allowing an earned run in three innings of work. He was relieved by senior RHP Kenny Dietrich for the fourth and fifth, sophomore RHP Jake Kurz in the sixth and seventh and rookie relievers Mike Fuchs, Andrew Camiolo and Mike McShane in the eighth.
Rutgers LF Tom Marcinczyk had three hits with a run scored and RBI to lead the Scarlet Knights. Kyle Driscoll earned the win after allowing a hit in five innings of work. Young earned the save.
The two teams complete their home-and-home series tomorrow at City Park at 3:30 pm.