JERSEY CITY, NJ - The Iona College baseball team defeated Saint Peter's 13-2 in the rubber match of a three-game Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference series at Jaroschak Field. The Gaels scored double-digit runs for the third time in their last four MAAC contests.
Iona put up 20 hits on the board including and were led by a second straight contest by sophomore DH Travis Mistretta and senior RF Joe Smith. Mistretta was 4-for-6 with four runs scored while Smith was 3-for-6 with four RBI. Rookie LF Kyle DiVico and senior CF Joe Torres also had three-hit days while senior 3B Bobby Vitulano and sophomore SS Vinny DeMaria each had two hits. All 10 Iona players with a plate appearances reached base in the win.
The Gaels scored twice in their first at bat and never trailed. Junior 1B Jimmy Guiliano plated the first run with an RBI single to left center. Rookie C Alex Beckett followed with a sac fly to give the Maroon & Gold a 2-0 advantage.
Saint Peter's halved its deficit in the bottom of the third, but was quickly answered by Iona in the next half inning on Torres' RBI single to drive in Vitulano from second base. In the fifth, Smith earned his first RBI of the game, driving in Mistretta with a base hit up the middle.
The Gaels put the game out of reach with a five run seventh inning to earn a 9-1 advantage. A two-out base hit by Mistretta was followed by a double down the line to start the rally. Smith drove home both his teammates with a two-run double. He then stole third and scored on a throwing error by the Peacock catcher. Rookie 2B Tyler Bruno continued the hit parade with an infield single. He scored on Vitulano's double into the right centerfield gap. After Torres was hit by a pitch, DeMaria drove in Vitulano from second on an infield single.
After Saint Peter's scored its second run in the bottom of the seventh, Iona added four more with two each in the eighth and ninth innings. Mistretta, Bruno, DiVico and Smith earned RBI for the Gaels.
Rookie RHP Bill Maier earned his second win of the season tossing 6.1 innings, scattering four hits with three walks, four strikeouts and no earned runs allowed. Sophomore LHP Andrew Pucillo allowed a hit and recorded three strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work. Sophomore RHP John Daddino struck out three batters on nine pitches in the ninth to close the contest. Daddino has struck out the last five batters he has faced using just 15 pitches in the span.
The Gaels sit in seventh place in the MAAC standings, a half-game behind Niagara for the sixth and final playoff position. The sixth through 11th place teams on the list are all separated by less than two games with two weekend's remaining in the regular season.
The Maroon & Gold returns home for a mid-week non-conference tilt vs. New York Tech Tuesday. Iona hosts its first night game in New Rochelle in program history at City Park with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.
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