BRONX, NY - The Iona College baseball team earned a 7-4 victory over Fordham in non-conference action at Houlihan Park. Senior RHPs Matthew Kriss and Thomas Kriss bookended the victory on the hill.
Junior RF Joe Smith was 3-for-3 with a run scored, two doubles and a stolen base. Rookie 2B Matt Byrne was 2-for-4 with three runs scored and a solo home run in the top of the ninth inning, his first collegiate round tripper. Freshman SS Vinny DeMaria and sophomore LF Jimmy Guilianoalso had two hits in the win.
The Gaels scored three times in their first at bat to take an early 3-0 advantage. Senior 3B Chris Sand drove in the game's first run with a one out sacrifice fly with the bases loaded. Rookie 1B Christian Choman followed with a two-run triple into the right centerfield gap.
Fordham got two back in the bottom of the third inning to pull within a run. Matt Kriss stranded a runner in scoring position to end the threat.
DeMaria picked up his first of two RBI with a run scoring single to left in the top of the fourth to give the Gaels a 4-2 lead. In the fifth, Matt Kriss helped his own cause with a two-out RBI base hit of his own and Iona regained its three-run cushion.
Fordham scored a single run in the bottom of the sixth inning to get within a run.
DeMaria came up with another two-out clutch hit in the eighth, scoring Smith from third who led off the inning with a double. In the ninth, Byrne crushed a 2-0 pitch over the right field fence for his first home run as a Gael.
Fordham rallied in the ninth inning and scored two runs. Tom Kriss earned a one-pitch save by inducing a comebacker on his first offering.
Matt Kriss pitched three innings allowing two runs on four hits with six strikeouts and a walk. Rookie LHP Andrew Pucillo allowed a hit in 2.1 innings of work. He was followed out of the bullpen by senior RHPs Anthony LaFauci and Derrick Bligh and rookie RHP Jake Kurz before the Tom Kriss save.
Fordham's Joseph Rucco went 3-for-5 with two RBI and Sam Careccia was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Starter J.C. Porter took the loss, tossing six innings while allowing five runs with six strikeouts.
The Gaels are back in action tomorrow at Seton Hall.
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