NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona College baseball team earned a doubleheader split with Central Connecticut in non-conference action at CCSU Baseball Field. The Gaels took the opener 6-3 before the Blue Devils broke a tie in the bottom of the ninth to take the night cap 5-3.
After four scoreless innings to start game one, Iona struck first with two in the top of the fifth. With the bases loaded and no out, the Gaels got on the board on a double play. An RBI single by rookie OF Fran Kinsey made the score 2-0.
Central Connecticut cut the lead in half by with a run in the bottom of the fifth and took the lead with two in the bottom of the sixth.
Junior 1B Matt Byrne knotted the score at 3-3 in the top of the seventh, scoring senior SS Vinny DeMaria who reached on a one-out double.
The Gaels took the lead for good in the eighth with three runs. With the bases loaded and one out, Kinsey's RBI single scored senior C Carmine Palummo and sophomore 3B Seth Hoagland. DeMaria came around to score one batter later on a sacrifice fly by Byrne.
Junior RHP Bill Maier tossed the first 5.1 innings allowing five hits and three runs with four strikeouts in a no-decision. Senior RHP Alex Fishberg finished the final 3.2 innings allowing a hit and three walks with four strikeouts to earn his first win of the season.
Kinsey was 3-for-5 on the day, driving in three runs. Iona's other eight starters each had a hit, with Palummo and DeMaria scoring two runs apiece and Byrne driving in a pair.
In game two, Iona and CCSU matched each other with three runs in the third and one in the fourth. Back-to-back bases loaded one out walks by rookie 2B Sean Breen and senior LF Travis Mistretta led to the Gaels' first two tallies. Junior DH Lou Matarazzo earned an RBI with a sac fly to make the score 3-0. With the score tied 3-3 in the fourth, DeMaria tripled with two out. He scored on Kinsey's fifth hit and fourth RBI of the afternoon.
Central Connecticut earned the win in its last at bat on a leadoff single, a wild pitch and a 3-2 base hit to close the game.
Sophomore RHP Jared Finkel tossed 4.0 innings in a no decision. Junior LHP Andrew Pucillo and sophomore RHP Kyle Ackley pitched clean fifth and sixth frames, facing the minimum. Junior RHP Stephan Stafford got the first two outs in the eighth before being relieved by junior LHP Andrew Camiolo who took the loss.
DeMaria went 3-for-3 with two runs scored in the night cap while Kinsey was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Hoagland and junior C Alex Beckett accounted for the Gaels other hits in the contest.
Iona travel to Seton Hall Tuesday (Mar. 29) in a final tune up before next weekend's MAAC series opener vs. Marist and the start of a seven-game home stand for the Maroon & Gold.