NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona College baseball program split Sunday’s doubleheader against MAAC rival Rider by taking the first game 6-4 followed by a 10-8 setback in the finale. In the process, the opening victory clinched the weekend series victory for the Gaels (9-11, 3-3 MAAC).
On the day, Fran Kinsey led the effort for Iona with three hits, five RBI, two walks, a stolen base and pair of outfield assists to throw out runners at the plate. Seth Hoagland and Sean Scales each added two hits while Scales scored two runs along with Joseph Lovecchio and Tyler Bruno.
The Broncs (9-15, 2-4 MAAC) jumped out to the early 1-0 lead in the top of the first as Dalton Mayberry scored an unearned run on a throwing error. After a scoreless second inning, the Maroon & Gold responded with three runs in the bottom of the third.
With two runners on, Kinsey doubled to left field to score Brian Picone and Hoagland. The outfielder scored the third run of the inning during the next at-bat on a wild pitch. Rider ended the inning with a double play with the bases loaded to limit the damage.
An inning and half later, the Broncs responded with three runs of their own to regain the advantage at 4-3. Kyle Johnson scored to cut the deficit to one run on a throwing error before Tyler Kaiser singled up the middle to plate two and give the visitors the lead once again.
Heading to the sixth of the seven inning contest, Iona looked to take control heading into the final inning and needed only one hit to score three runs. With the bases loaded following a catcher’s interference, a walk and a throwing error, Hoagland tied the game for the Gaels with a bases loaded walk. In the next at-bat Bruno provided the clutch hit with a single to center field to score two and give the hosts a 6-4 lead.
Jared Finkel closed out the seventh with a pair of ground outs and a fly out for fourth save of the season. Andrew Pucillo earned the victory after taking over for starter Joe DeRosa. Pucillo logged 1.1 innings of relief works, striking out one after DeRosa went 4.2 innings with two strikeouts. Neither pitcher was charged with an earned run among the four scored.
From the plate, Kinsey and Bruno each knocked in two runs while Hoagland recorded two hits. Six different individuals scored a run throughout the seven-inning contest.
Rider helped the winning cause in the finale by scoring 10 runs from the fifth through the eighth innings that helped overcome six runs from Iona in the sixth inning.
The Gaels claimed the first advantage with a pair of runs in the third inning as Kinsey and Breen each picked up an RBI. The Broncs found the two equalizing runs in the fifth before scoring two more in the sixth to take the lead.
Kaiser scored the first run for the visitors in the fifth on a wild pitch and throwing error to allow him to score from second. Johnson added the second run with a RBI hit to drive in Mike Volaski. In the sixth, Volaski picked up the RBI on the next scoring opportunity followed by Kaiser scoring a single from Joe Simone. Simone was thrown out on the play trying to advance to second to end the inning.
Trailing 4-2 midway through the sixth, Iona created a six-run rally with two outs in the bottom half of the inning. With runners on the corners, Scales singled in a run to bring Iona within one score before Alex Beckett tied the game with a RBI hit. Jon Budesa provided the go-ahead RBI with a single up the middle to give the Maroon & Gold a 5-4 lead.
With three runs already in, the Gaels added three more tallies beginning with Bruno drawing a bases loaded walk to score Beckett. Kinsey provided the final blow of the inning with a single to right field, driving in a pair.
Unfortunately, the lead did last past the next half inning as Rider tied the game with four runs in the seventh. Riley Mihalik drove in the first run with a double to left field followed by a RBI ground out by Harrison McClure to bring the visitors within two. Lee Lipinski and Kaiser added the two more necessary runs with back-to-back RBI hits.
Tied at eight heading into the eighth inning, Rider spoiled the series sweep for Iona with two runs to conclude four straight scoring innings. Mihalik was credited with the winning RBI after being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. McClure added the insurance run with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Next on the docket for Iona is a trip to Stony Brook on Tuesday for a 3:00 pm non-conference start.