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KASSEBAUM, YOUNGSTERS SPARK GAELS TO WIN OVER WAGNER, 4-3

Courtesy: ICGaels.com
          Release: 04/25/2007
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Courtesy: ICGaels.com
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New Rochelle, NY - With a pitching staff that has been hampered by injuries in 2007, rookie RHP/C John Kassebaum stepped up and tossed seven effective innings in the Iona College baseball team's 4-3 win over Wagner in non-conference action at Salesian Field. The Gaels (10-25) jumped ahead 3-0 in the first inning and never looked back.

Kassebaum (1-0) scattered eight hits, allowed two runs (one earned) and struck out two in his seven innings of work. The freshman hurler earned his first win in his first collegiate start.

Senior 1B Allie Abbatiello drove in the Gaels first run in the opening inning on a single through the right side. Rookie 2B Mike Walraven scored on the hit after leading off the contest with a well struck single. Sophomore C Andrew Wernicki picked up the team's second RBI on a sacrifice fly to centerfield. Abbatiello came around the bases to score on rookie LF Chris Leahy double that dropped into no man's land between the second baseman and right fielder just inside the right field foul line.

Wagner 3B Vin Avella put his squad on the board in the third inning, driving home senior SS Joe DiGeronimo with a single through the left side. DiGeronimo got on base with a one-out triple to right center, collecting his 200th career hit on the play.

The Seahawks cut the deficit to a run on a double steal with runners on first and third. C Chris Drechsel took off for second base in an attempt steal second while PR Pat Rogers delayed his take off to home. Drechsel sensing he was caught and looked as if he was trying to get himself in a run down to allow Rogers to score. The throw through sailed into center, however, and allowed the unearned run to cross the plate.

Iona put an important insurance run on the board in the top of the sixth inning on Leahy's second RBI of the game. Leahy lined a ball to center and allowed Abbatiello to cross the plate on his second hit of the ball game.

Senior RHP Marty Hand tossed a perfect eighth and junior closer Shawn Walsh battled through the ninth to pick up his fourth save.

Leahy and Abbatiello had two hits a piece in the win. For the junior 1B it was his team leading 12th multiple hit of the contest. Walraven extended his hitting streak to six games and is batting .381 (8-for-21) over the stretch.

Wagner DH Ed Sudol and RF Kevin McDonnell each had two hits for the visitors. Buddy Cipoletti (1-2) took the loss in three innings of work.

Iona is back in action at Salesian Field this weekend for a three-game MAAC series with Canisius. The two teams square off in a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon beginning at noon.

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