GAELS TAKE SERIES FROM RIDER WITH 10 INNING THRILLER
Iona held on in the bottom of the the 10th after surrendering three two-run leads throughout the contest. Abbatiello put Iona on the board in the top of the first with an opposite field two-run home run, his team leading seventh of the season.
Rider came back with two in the bottom of the fifth on a no-out two run shot by RF Nick Wojnowski.
In the top of the seventh, the Maroon & Gold took a 4-2 lead on an RBI single by freshman LF Chris Leahy and Abbatiello's first of two sacrifce flys and third of four RBI in the contest.
The lead was quickly relinquished in the bottom of the seventh as the Broncs tied the score at four a piece.
Things looked good for the Gaels after the top of the ninth when the squad took a 6-4 lead. Two straight bases loaded walks by junior CF Paul Salerno and sophomore RF Keith Kenny put the visitors ahead.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Broncs scored two two-out tallies to force extra innings.
Leahy led off the top of the 10th with an infield single. The next batter, freshman 2B Mike Walraven reached base on a sacrifice bunt/fielder's choice. The two runners advanced on a wild pitch setting up Abbatiello's sac fly. Wernicki followed it up with an RBI single to give Iona the two run cushion.
Junior RHP Shawn Walsh (2-1) shut the door in the ninth to earn his second win of the season. Junior LHP Kevin Carmody did the bulk of the leg work on the mound, tossing 6.1 strong innings, allowing sevne hits, three runs and striking out two in the no decision.
Wernicki bounced back nicely from getting banged up in last weekend's series with Canisius, going 3-for-5 with a run scored an and RBI. Leahy, Salerno, sophomore SS Joe Lorenzo and rookie DH Andrew Passerelle each had two hits as the Gaels pounded out 14 in the victory. Abbatiello's four RBI led the squad.
Rider closer James Hayes (1-2) - who has recorded a league high 10 saves this season - took the loss. 3B Sean Olson went 3-for-5 to lead the Broncs offensively.
Iona returns to action for a midweek, non-conference doubleheader with St. John's on the road on Wednesday afternoon at 5:00 pm
Mariano Rivera with Iona Mass Comm's Mike Damergis
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