NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College baseball team picked up a 3-1 win over Marist in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action at Salesian Field. Junior RHP Matt Marley tossed 7.2 strong innings to lead the Gaels (17-26, 6-9 MAAC) in the win.
Marley allowed six hits and struck out five batters while allowing one run. Though he walked just one batter (the last one he faced in the eight) Marley escaped the trouble from six hit by pitches on the afternoon.
The Red Foxes scored their lone run in the top of the third to take a 1-0 lead. Three singles in the inning capped by a two-out RBI base hit by LF Eric Helmrich accounted for the run.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Gaels scored two to take the lead for good. Senior 1B Mike Chiaravalloti led off the frame by smacking his fourth home run of the season, driven to the left of the scoreboard in right field to knot the score at 1-1. With one out, Iona loaded the bases with three straight singles. After the Red Foxes recorded the second out, sophomore CF Joe Torres singled off the third base bag to plate the go-ahead run.
Iona added an insurance run in the top of the fifth. Senior 3B Chris Burke led off with a double, his 44th career two-bagger which ties him for fourth on the Gaels' all-time list. He would score his 133rd career run three batters later which is also tied for fourth all-time at Iona. Senior LF Colin Lyall picked up the RBI with a single.
The Gaels escaped jams in both the seventh and eighth innings to preserve the win. In the top of the seventh, Marist put runners on first and second to lead off the frame. A sac bunt attempt by Orefice was thwarted by a nice play by Burke at third. Burke picked up the bunt fired to SS Matthew Kriss who just missed turning two on his relay to first base. The double play came one batter later, however. Kriss snagged a sharp grounder to his left, backhanded a toss to 2B Eric Capowski who completed the double play with a strong throw to Chiaravalloti at first.
In the eighth, Marist brought the tying run to the plate after a Nick McQuail leadoff single. A ground out moved the runner to second base and a huge strikeout by Marley put two outs on the scoreboard. After McQuail advanced to third on a wild pitch, Marley walked the final batter he would face to put runners on first and third. Junior RHP Thomas Kriss came one and recorded the final out on a pop fly Torres in centerfield.
Tom Kriss pitched to four batters in the ninth to pick up his fifth save of the season.
Burke and Lyall were both 2-for-3 in the win.
Marist's Chris Bielak took the loss. SS Zach Shank posted two hits for the visitors.
Iona is back in action on Monday at the Big East's St. John's in Queens.