NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Behind 17 hits, the Iona College baseball team claimed a split with Quinnipiac during today’s MAAC doubleheader with a 12-4 victory at City Park. The visitors came away with a 1-0 win in the nightcap.
Each team tallied a run in the opening inning as the Bobcats (11-20, 4-7 MAAC) scored first on a RBI single from Joseph Burns followed by Iona (11-13, 4-4 MAAC) tying the score at 1-1 on a Sean Scales RBI hit to score Niko Switalla. After Quinnipiac regained the lead in the top of the second, the Gaels plated six runs in the bottom half to take control.
Matt Byrne started the second inning rally with a one out single prior to stealing two bases. Bryne scored in the next at-bat on a Tyler Bruno single before Brian Picone gave the Maroon & Gold the lead with a RBI single. Leading 3-2, Fran Kinsey picked up sacrifice fly RBI before Switalla drove a 1-0 pitch over the right field fence for a two-run homerun.
The batting order circled back to Byrne later in the inning with the bases loaded. The infielder was hit on the first pitch to score Lou Matarazzo for the final run of the inning. Iona scored six runs on six hits and no errors.
The Bobcats scored a run in the third and fifth innings to cut into the deficit 7-4 which nearly turned into 7-5 with another run in the fifth, however, Scales throughout Matthew Batten at home to end the inning after Batten tried taking advantage of a double steal with Liam Scafariello.
With the lead at 7-4, the Gaels added five more runs through the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Byrne picked up a solo homerun in the fifth to start the scoring followed by a sacrifice fly from Matarazzo in the sixth. The first baseman added two more RBI in the seventh to push the lead to 12-4.
Despite early trouble, starter Bill Maier managed to battle through eight innings of work. The senior finished with three strikeouts to earn his fourth victory of the season. Antonio Velardi pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts to close out the victory.
Following a game full of offense in game one, a pitchers’ duel followed in game as starters Joe DeRosa and Chris Enns matched each other’s efforts.
After a leadoff single to start the game, DeRosa retired 18 batters in a row before surrendering his second hit of the game to Ryan Nelson to lead off the seventh. After a sacrifice bunt from Burns moved Nelson to second, DeRosa’s afternoon came to an end with Jared Finkel coming on in relief.
Quinnipiac followed the pitching change with a single from Scafariello before a sacrifice bunt from Brian Moskey scored the lone run of the game. Iona was able to advance runners to third base on three different occasions throughout the contest, however, a pair of groundouts and a strikeout to end the game helped Enns pick up second win of the season. Mike Davis earned his sixth save of the year despite facing five batters in the final inning.
Each team looks for the series victory tomorrow afternoon at 12:00 pm as the Gaels and Bobcats meet for the finale at City Park.