PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - The Iona College baseball team forged a doubleheader split with the Big Ten's Michigan at the New York Mets spring training facility, Tradition Field. After falling 11-2 in the opener, the Gaels (2-4) used a brilliant pitching performance by a pair of freshmen to earn a 3-1 win in the night cap.
Michigan scored 11 unanswered runs in the first game after Iona took a 2-0 lead in its first at-bat.
Sophomore OF Joe Torres doubled to lead off the contest and was followed by a Chris Burke walk. Senior Mike Chiaravalloti drove in Torres with a base hit for the game's first run. Burke would score on a double play one batter later.
Michigan scored eight runs in the first two innings and added three more in the fifth to round out its scoring.
Torres collected two hits and walked once while Burke reached base twice with a single and a walk. Rookie John Daddino (0-1) took the loss. Matt Marley relieved his teammate and allowed three unearned runs in seven innings on five hits with two strikeouts.
In the night cap, rookies John Nargoski and Steve Basile combined for eight innings of four-hit ball. Nargoski was charged with an unearned run while Basile faced the minimum nine batters in his three inning appearance. Basile did not allow a hit and allowed just one batter to reach base via a walk. Junior Thomas Kriss earned his first save, allowing a hit and inducing a double play.
Iona evened the score at 1-1 in the top of the fifth. Sophomore Joe Torres drove in his classmate Joe Smith with a one-out sacrifice fly.
The Gaels scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, pushing across the tally without the benefit of a hit. After Bobby Vitulano reached on an error to lead off the inning, Torres walked. Vitulano advanced to third on a Burke fly out and Torres stole second. With two-out, senior James Beck was intentionally walked to load the bases. Junior Matthew Kriss drew a walk on a 3-2 count to plate the eventual game winner.
In the ninth, it was Torres coming through with an insurance run, as rookie Jimmy Guiliano scored on a base hit.
All nine starters reached base for the Gaels, eight via a hit.
The two teams complete the four-game series in Port St. Lucie Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm. After playing its first three-games on one of the complex's back fields, Michigan and Iona will face off at Digital Domain Park.