BUFFALO, NY - The Iona College baseball team scored all six runs in the middle innings to take the first game of a three-game set 6-2 over Canisius on Friday afternoon at the Demske Sports Complex.
The key to the Iona (17-28, 7-9 MAAC) victory came on the mound, as sophomore LHP Eddie Macaluso picked up his fourth victory of the season, as the southpaw hurler allowed just one-earned run on five hits and struck out three Golden Griffs before barely touching the 100-pitch plateau.
Macaluso surrendered an unearned run in the opening inning after a runner scored on a hit from third base after he advanced on a passed ball from second base. The only other blemish to the starters line came in the sixth-inning when he allowed a double and then an RBI triple.
Junior Derrick Bligh filled the role of the set-up reliever and closer for his second save of the season, after pitching the final three innings, allowing just two hits with two strikeouts.
On the offensive side, six Iona hitters recorded an RBI with just senior C James Beck leading the team with two hits. Seniors Chris Burke, Colin Lyall, and Eric Capowski along with junior Matthew Kriss and rookie Jimmy Guiliano, and Beck recorded a run batted in.
Trailing 1-0 in the top of the fifth, the Gaels capitalized on a bases loaded opportunity when Guiliano conservatively walked with a full count.
In the next inning, tied 1-1, Kriss sent a scorcher down the left field line and then one-hopped over the fence for an RBI ground-rule double.
Later in the inning, with Kriss at third base with one out, Capowski grounded out to second for the RBI.
Canisius tied the game in the bottom of the sixth off a triple and then an RBI double scored the runner. The Gaels put the game away with three runs in the seventh. A one-out double by Burke down the left field line scored sophomore CF Joe Torres for the game-winning run. Iona added two more in the inning for insurance, when Beck and Lyall both singled home runs.
Canisius (24-24, 9-7 MAAC) was led by leadoff hitter Mike Krische with four hits and RBI from Jimmy Luppens and Jesse Kelso.
Golden Griffs starter Garrett Cortright pitched six innings but was dealt the loss after allowed all three runs on three hits. Aaron Casper and Rohn Pierce came in relief allowing three runs on three hits.
Iona will meet Canisius again on Saturday for a seven-inning double header at noon.