OLD WESTBURY, NY - The Iona College baseball team earned a wild 16-14 win at New York Tech this afternoon. Trailing 10-3 after four and a half innings, the Bears rallied to knot the score at 14-14 before a two-run ninth inning for the Gaels (7-12) sealed the victory.
Iona trailed 3-1 after the first inning. Senior 3B Chris Burke's run scoring double got Iona on the scoreboard in their first at bat. Senior 1B Mike Chiaravalloti smacked his second home run of the season in the top of the fourth to half the Gaels' deficit.
In the fifth and sixth innings, the two teams combined for 18 runs. Iona put up an eight spot in their half of the fifth, sending 12 batters to the plate. Junior C Sean Menickella and senior LF James Beck had the big blows in the inning. Menickella had a bases clearing double while Beck posted a two-run single. NYIT would score three runs in the bottom of the inning to make the score 10-6.
Iona tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning. Chiaravalloti and Beck drove in runs in the frame. The Bears though continued their onslaught cut the score to 12-11 after a five-run sixth inning.
Each team scored twice in the seventh inning as the Gaels maintained their one-run advantage. Sophomore CF Joe Torres picked up the squad's two RBI.
After being held scoreless in the top of the eighth, New York Tech scratched across a run in the bottom of the frame to knot the score at 14-14.
Back-to-back walks to Torres and rookie DH Jimmy Guiliano put runners on first and second with no out. Two batters later, Chiaravalloti drove in his third run of the game with a double down the right field line. Beck earned his fourth RBI on a sacrifice fly as the Gaels added a much needed insurance run.
NYIT would not go down quietly in the bottom of the ninth. After a groundout to start the inning Bears loaded the bases on two walks and a base hit. With Alex Angus at the plate, Gael sophomore 2B Bobby Vitulano snared a line drive and flipped to junior SS Matt Kriss for the game ending double play.
Chiaravalloti and Beck each had three hits in the win. Chiaravalloti’s were all of the extra base variety with two doubles and the solo home run. Guiliano, Menickella and Vitulano each had two hits in the win. Menickella drove in three runs while Burke and Torres had two RBI a piece. Iona posted seven doubles and had four stolen bases in the win.
Senior RHP Hugh Henry tossed the first 4.2 innings for the Gaels in a no decision. Junior RHP Kenny Dietrich (1-0) earned the win after pitching the eighth inning. Senior Conan Leon earned the save in the scoreless ninth.
The Gaels open up MAAC play in their 2012 home opener with a three-game series with Fairfield. The series commences with a single-game tomorrow (Mar. 23) at Salesian Field at 3:00 pm. The game dates for the series have been adjusted to Friday-Saturday due to a forecast of inclement weather on Sunday.