NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Each member of the Iona College baseball team's senior class contributed in the Gaels' 3-2 win over Saint Peter's in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action at City Park this afternoon. Five senior righties combined to allow two runs on five hits in the victory.
A leadoff single by 1B Chris Grimes led to the Peacocks first run in the top of the second. He advanced to second on a wild pitch and was sacrificed to third before eventually scoring on C James Smith sacrifice fly. It would be the lone hit allowed for senior RHP Matt Marley who tossed his scheduled four innings to start the game while picking up his second win of the season.
Iona evened the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the third. With two out, sophomore LF Jimmy Guiliano laced a line drive to right field and drove home junior CF Joe Torres from second base.
The Gaels took a 2-1 advantage in the next inning when junior 2B Bobby Vitulano found the left center field gap and tripled home junior RF Joe Smith from first base.
The Maroon & Gold added a key insurance run in the sixth inning. Rookie 1B Christian Choman smashed his first collegiate home run over the left centerfield fence to give Iona a 3-1 advantage. It was the first ever home run for either the Gaels or their opponent at City Park. This season marked the inaugural campaign at Iona's new home.
Senior RHP Conan Leon followed Marley on the hill for the Gaels. He allowed a hit and struck out a batter in the fifth inning.
Senior RHP Derrick Bligh pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning but ran into some hard luck to start the seventh frame. After striking out the first batter he faced, back-to-back infield singles put runners on first and second. A third straight hit by Smith led to the Peacocks' second run. Bligh bore down and induced two straight pop outs to end the threat.
It was senior RHP Anthony LaFauci's turn in the eighth inning. Centerfielder Matt Mancini drew a one out walk, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After falling behind 3-1, and the infield drawn in, LaFauci got LF Nicholas Henriquez to bounce out to third base while keeping the runner on third. A second straight 5-3 put out ended the inning.
Senior RHP Thomas Kriss came on in the ninth and faced four batters to earn his fourth save of the year. The inning featured two tremendous defensive plays from the left side of the infield. Senior 3B Chris Sand made a diving stop in the hole and threw out RF William Rawson from his knees to record the first out. Tom Kriss' brother, senior SS Matthew Kriss, made the second out snaring a bouncing ball on the right side of the second base bag and getting the ball to first in time to get DH Brian Schroeder.
Torres was 2-for-3 and Choman went 2-for-4 to account for the Gaels multiple hit efforts. Senior C Sean Menickella recorded an infield hit in the second inning to get in the box score. Senior RHP Kenny Dietrich was the lone graduate to not appear after tossing a scoreless inning in yesterday's doubleheader.
James Smith was the lone Peacock with multiple hits while driving in both of his team's runs. Junior RHP Zach Hopf threw 127 pitches in the complete game loss. He allowed nine hits and three runs while striking out eight and walking two.
With the win, the Gaels complete their 2013 campaign.
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