ALL-AROUND EFFORT PUSHES GAELS PAST PURPLE EAGLES IN DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP
Sveda was brilliant in a complete game effort with nine strikeouts while allowing just one earned run. He allowed just four hits in the game with two coming via the bunt.
The Gaels scored three unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning to score all the runs they would need. After loading the bases with no out, Niagara starter LHP Michael Kellar buckled down and got the next two out. Senior 2B Ralph Marzella slapped a double into the right field corner that drew chalk and cleared the bases.
Niagara scratched across a run in the top of the third. With one out and the bases loaded, junior SS Joe Lorenzo made a diving stop in the hole and made the throw to second base for the force out. Sveda struck out the next batter to end the inning and limit the damage.
Iona added a run in the fourth inning and two in the fifth to take a 6-1 advantage. Sophomore 2B Mike Walraven plated classmate RF Dylan McCullough with a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Marzella came up big with the bases loaded again with a two run double to left center field in the next inning. The senior had a career-high five RBI in the win.
With no out in the bottom of the seventh, sophomore LF Andrew Passerelle smacked his second home run of the season, a two run jack that cleared the right centerfield fence.
Seven different players were responsible for the Gaels' eight hits in the win. Marzella was 2-for-4 with his five RBI.
DiNuzzo had his second striaght strong outing in the night cap, matching his partner with the complete game win. He tossed seven innings, allowed just three hits and an unearned run while striking out six batters. DiNuzzo surrendered his first hit of the game in the top of the fifth inning.
Niagara got on the scoreboard first in the top of the third inning without the benefit of a hit. After a lead off hit by pitch, C Clint Elkins was sacrificed to second base. An error by the Gaels' 1B allowed him to score from second. Two straight walks loaded the bases before DiNuzzo induced a ground ball to the first baseman to end the inning.
Purple Eagle starter Daniel Morari baffled the Maroon & Gold's offense through the first five innings. In the sixth, Iona broke through for four decisive runs. Passerelle drew a four pitch walk with one out. He was followed by junior C Andrew Wernicki with a single through the left side of the infield. After Marzella was hit by a pitch on a 2-1 count, freshman 1B Chris Griffin delivered the big blow, a two run double over the center fielder's head, giving the Gaels' a 2-1 lead. Three batters later after an intentional walk, a pitching change and a strikeout, Walraven plated two more runs with a 3-2 single to left field.
DiNuzzo got through a two-out double in the seventh to earn his second straight victory.
Walraven, Marzella and Griffin each had two hits in the win. Lorenzo snapped an 11-game hitting streak.
The two teams complete the three game series tomorrow afternoon in a game scheduled to begin at 12:00 pm. Stay tuned to ICGaels.com for updates on the start time, due to the threat of inclement weather, the start time for the contest may be pushed back to later in the afternoon.
Mariano Rivera with Iona Mass Comm's Mike Damergis
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