NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, NY - The Iona College baseball team split a doubleheader with Niagara in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action at Sal Maglie Field. After taking the nine-inning opener 5-2, the Gaels (12-20, 5-7 MAAC) dropped the seven-inning nightcap 4-2. Both teams used late tallies to earn their victories; a four-run eighth inning for Iona and a three-run sixth inning for Niagara.
Trailing 1-0 after one inning of play, the Gaels finally got on the board in the top of sixth. A two-out double by junior C James Beck plated rookie LF Joe Torres to knot the score at 1-1.
The lead was short live as the Purple Eagles scratched across a go-ahead run in the next half inning.
In the eighth, sophomore CF Anthony Muccio and Torres got on to start the frame. A wild pitch put runners on second and third for Beck. After a four-pitch walk, senior 2B Nick Rossetti knotted the game at 3-3 with a base hit. Junior 1B Michael Chiaravalloti followed with a two-run double down the right field line. Rossetti scored the squad's final run on a wild pitch.
Rookie LHP Eddie Macaluso tossed his second straight solid MAAC contest with a complete-game six-hitter in his third win of the season. Macaluso used 114 pitches, struck out four and allowed four walks in the victory.
Torres and Rossetti had two hits a piece while Chiaravalloti's two RBI led the Gaels.
In game two, Niagara again struck first with a single run in the bottom of the third. Two hits to lead off the inning lead off the inning led to the tally.
The Gaels evened the score in the fifth. Senior C Chris Griffin's single scored junior SS Eric Capowski after an error by the Purple Eagle right fielder. Iona would take the lead in the sixth inning. A fielder's choice off the bat of junior 3B Chris Burke plated Muccio to give Iona a 2-1 lead.
In the Niagara half of the sixth, a three-run double by SS John Wilson with one-out gave the home team all it needed to hold off Iona.
Senior LHP Justin Wiley tossed all six innings allowing four run on eight hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
The Gaels had just three hits off the combination of Kody Kasper and Cody Lillich.
The two teams complete the three-game series tomorrow afternoon with game time slated tentatively for 2:00 pm. The forecast of inclement weather could push the contest to Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned to ICGaels.com or the Gaels on Twitter @IonaBaseball or @ICGaels
Game 1 R H E Iona College........ 000 001 040 - 5 7 0 Niagara............. 100 001 000 - 2 6 0 Game 2 R H E Iona College........ 000 011 0 - 2 3 1 Niagara............. 001 003 X - 4 8 3