RIVERDALE, NY - The Iona College baseball team took the rubber game of the three-game Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference series with Manhattan with a 10-6 win at Van Cortlandt Park Sunday. The Gaels (6-14, 3-3 MAAC) jumped ahead with nine runs in their first three at bats to earn the victory and series win.
Senior Joe Torres led off the game with a double and used his disruptive speed to manufacture the Maroon & Gold's first run. With one out, he stole third and scored on a throwing error by the Manhattan catcher.
Iona led off the second inning with back-to-back base hits by sophomore 1B Christian Choman and his classmate, DH Zach Brown. With two out, senior 2B Bobby Vitulano drove in the first of three runs in the inning with the Gaels third hit of the season. With runners on second and third, an error by Manhattan with Torres at the plate scored both Brown and Vitulano and the Gaels led 4-0 after the first inning and a half.
The Maroon & Gold broke open the contest with a five-run third inning. With one out, sophomore C Carmine Palummo homered over the left field fence, his second of the season. Choman singled for the second time in the contest. Iona loaded the bases two batters later following a Brown walk and senior RF Joe Smith's hit by pitch. Rookie 3B Tyler Bruno drove home Choman with a sacrifice fly. Vitulano followed his second run scoring hit in two innings for Iona's third tally. With the bases loaded and two out, sophomore SS Vinny DeMaria continued his hot hitting on the weekend with a two run base hit to give Iona a 9-0 advantage.
On the other side of the ball, rookie RHP Bill Maier cruised through the first four innings, allowing just two base runners in the second inning without a hit. His first blemish came in the fifth inning as he allowed Manhattan's first two runs of the contest.
In Iona's half of the sixth inning, the visitors earned their 10th run of the contest on a Palummo RBI single.
Manhattan halved their eight run deficit with four runs in the final four innings but it was not enough to top the Gaels.
Maier tossed 7.1 innings allowing five runs on six hits with three strikeouts to earn his first collegiate win. Sophomore RHP Max Bruckner tossed the final 1.2 innings.
Choman was 3-for-5 with two runs scored. DeMaria, Palummo and Vitulano each had two hit and two RBI in the win for the Gaels.
Manhattan's Michael Martin took the loss as he was one of seven pitchers for the Jaspers in the contest.
The Gaels open up a five game home stand next week beginning Tuesday (Apr. 8) when they host Stony Brook at City Park. LIU Brooklyn follows the next day before concluding the week with a three-game MAAC series against Quinnipiac next Saturday (Apr. 12) and Sunday (Apr. 13).
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