STATEN ISLAND, NY - The Iona College baseball team split a doubleheader with Wagner in non-conference action at Richmond County Bank Ballpark. The Gaels (15-23) dropped the opener 1-0 in a pitcher's duel before outmuscling the Seahawks (17-24) in the night cap 11-7.
Both teams combined for seven hits in the opener with Wagner starter Ryan Van Spronsen stymieing the Iona bats in a complete game two-hitter. Senior LHP Justin Wiley surrendered just one run on five hits, throwing 78 pitches in his third outing since returning from injury.
With two out in the top of the third, Eddie Brown singled for the home team and then stole second. Nick Dini plated his teammate and the only run of the contest.
The Gaels put 11 on the board in the nightcap, beginning in their opening at bat. A two-out RBI single by Chiaravalloti accounted for the tally.
After Wagner knotted the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the second, Iona scored three in the next half inning to take a 4-1 advantage. Senior 3B Chris Burke recorded his ninth home run of the season, a three run shot that scored Torres and junior SS Matthew Kriss.
Wagner would cut the margin to a one with a run in both the fourth and fifth innings.
A wild sixth inning ensued with both teams combining for nine runs. The Gaels got five in the top half. Senior LF Colin Lyall started the run production with a two-run single. With runners on first and third and one out, sophomore 2B Bobby Vitulano squeezed home Lyall with a bunt and reached safely on the fielder's choice. With two out and the bases loaded, Kriss reached on an error that plated two runs and the Gaels took a 9-3 lead.
The Seahawks nearly matched the Gaels in the bottom of sixth, notching four runs to once again cut the deficit to two runs. Junior RHP Thomas Kriss came on to close the door and stranded a runner on second.
The Gaels added two insurance runs in the seventh. Vitulano earned an RBI on a groundout while senior C James Beck scored on an error.
Tom Kriss shut the door with a 1-2-3 bottom of the inning. Three of the four outs he recorded in his fourth save of the year came via strikeout. Senior RHP Derrick Bligh earned his third win of the season tossing 2.2 innings in relief.
Torres and Burke were the lone Gaels to record multiple hits. Torres extended his hitting streak to a season-long eight games, six of them with two or more hits. Burke now has 107 hits, just one shy of No. 2 all-time at Iona, John Penatello '98.
The Gaels and Seahawks complete the three-game series in a nine-inning contest on Saturday at 1:00 pm.
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