ASHEVILLE, NC – For the second straight day, a ninth inning rally fell short for the Iona College baseball program, falling 4-2 on the final day of the three-game weekend series at UNC Asheville.
Seth Hoagland was responsible for the big hit in the final inning, driving in two runs with a single through the right side. A pair of groundballs ended the threat for the Maroon & Gold (3-3) as the Bulldogs (5-5) held on for the series clinching victory.
Hoagland was one of five Gaels to produce one hit on the day while Matt Byrne tallied a team-best two hits. Starter Joe DeRosa logged six innings of work, striking out one with eight hits and two earned runs.
DeRosa opened the contest with three shutout innings before UNC Asheville got on the board in the fourth inning. After Joe Tietjen bunted for a single and stole second, Brandon Lankford singled home the senior for the first run of the game. Lankford later scored the second run on a groundout to put the Bulldogs ahead 2-0 following four innings.
Following two more shutout innings, UNC Asheville added a run in both the seventh and eighth innings. Danny Wilson earned a RBI with a groundout to score Carmine Pagano in the seventh followed in the eighth with Joe Gruszka stealing third and scoring on the same play due to a throwing error, creating a 4-0 margin.
Stephen Hansen led off the ninth with a hit-by-pitch and advance to second on a ground out. Tyler Bruno singled to centerfield to advance Hansen and then stole second in the next at-bat. Hoagland drove in the pair for the lone runs of the game for Iona before back-to-back groundouts to end the game.
The Gaels look forward to the home-opener on Tuesday afternoon at City Park, hosting St. John’s at 3:00 pm.
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