GAELS POUND SAINT PETER'S ON SENIOR DAY, 16-1
Courtesy: ICGaels.com  
Release: Sunday 05/13/2007
Courtesy: ICGaels.com
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New Rochelle, NY- The Iona College baseball team blasted Saint Peter's 16-1 in MAAC action at Salesian Field. The Gaels (16-32, 8-15 MAAC) were led by their trio of seniors who combined for nine hits in 14 at bats, seven runs and 10 RBI. Senior RHP Marty Hand tossed 8.1 strong innings to earn his career best fifth win of the season.

The Gaels got on the board early and often plating four runs in the second, four in the third and two in the fourth inning to take a 10-0 lead.

Senior 2B Nick Capowski, making his first ever appearance at the position, drove in the games first runs with a three-run home run over the left field fence. He was 3-for-5 in the game with a team-leading seven RBI. It was the most RBI in a single-game since an eight RBI effort from former Iona standout Rob Villanova smashed four home runs at Coppin State on Feb. 28, 2004.

Two batters later, sophomore LF Keith Kenny plated senior 3B A.J. Dederick with a single up the middle. Dederick had his first collegiate four-hit effort, going 4-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI.

The Gaels batted around for the second inning in a row in the bottom of the third. Junior CF Paul Salerno picked up an RBI with a double down the right field line scoring sophomore C Andrew Wernicki.

Salerno had a breakout weekend for Iona. In the contest he went 3-for-3, scoring all five times he got up to bat. He stole his team leading 16th base of the season. In the three game series he batted .857 (6-for-7) with six runs scored and four stolen bases.

Senior RF Kevin McGovern traded places with Salerno with an RBI double of his own to account for the second run of the third inning. Dederick picked up his RBI two batters later to score McGovern. He would later score on a single by freshman SS Mike Walraven.

In the fourth, freshman DH Andrew Passerelle had his first of two doubles on the day with one out. He scored on the next batter Salerno beat out a infield single and the rushed throw from the Saint Peter's shortstop sailed into the dugout and out of play. Salerno scored from second when McGovern's sharp ground ball skipped off the shortstop's glove.

Iona took a 13-0 lead with three runs in the sixth. The tallies crossed the plate on a two-run double by Capowski and a sacrifice fly by Kenny.

Saint Peter's scored their only run of the contest on a mildly contested play. McGovern's diving stab in right field of a low line drive by 2B Dennis Alexander was ruled to have dropped in for a hit, allowing PH Pedro Adorno to score.

The Gaels would round out their scoring in the seventh inning with three more runs. With two out, Peacock reliever Frank Flynn hit Passerelle and Salerno in back-to-back plate appearances. McGovern doubled home Passerelle. With runners on second and third, Capowski made the Peacocks pay with a double that dropped inside the line for his sixth and seventh RBI of the game.

Hand (5-7) recorded the first out in the top of the ninth and was removed to a standing ovation in his final appearance at J.B. Buono Field. He tossed 8.1 innings, scattering eight hits, allowing a run and matched his career-high with eight strikeouts in the win.   He first struck out eight in an 8-1 win over Saint Peter's on May 3, 2003 during his rookie season.

Eight different batters recorded hits for the visitors. RHP Chris Innis (3-6) allowed eight runs in 2.2 innings in the loss.

The Gaels return to action for their final MAAC series on Thursday afternoon when they travel to Le Moyne. Iona looks to play spoiler for the Dolphins who are contending for the conference regular season title.

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