NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College baseball team erased a two-run deficit with four tallies in the bottom of the fifth inning in a 5-3 win over Manhattan in the penultimate day of the regular season in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play at City Park. Sophomore RHP Bill Maier tossed eight strong innings and junior SS Vinny DeMaria and rookie CF Jon Budesa each recorded three hits to lead the Gaels in the win.
Manhattan got on the board with two runs in the top of the third. Senior 1B Vin Teixeira led off with a walk. With one out, rookie 3B Michael Pfenninger reached on an infield single to put runners on first and second after receiving a second life when his sacrifice bunt attempt was ruled to have hit his bat twice. Two batters later the Jaspers loaded the bases with two out. Senior RF Chris Kalousdian picked up two RBI on an infield hit when his bouncer in the hole was fielded in short right field by sophomore 2B Tyler Bruno. Bruno's attempt at cutting down Pfenninger at the plate was on time but could not be handled by junior C Carmine Palummo and the Jaspers led 2-0.
Following a leadoff double by Budesa in the fourth, he raced to third on a wild pitch when junior LF Travis Mistretta struck out and forced a throw to first base to finish the play. Sophomore C Alex Beckett drove home his rookie teammate with a sacrifice fly.
Manhattan regained the two run advantage in their next at bat. A two-out triple by junior DH Christian Santisteban plated sophomore LF Jason Patnick who reached on a walk.
The Gaels batted around in the bottom of the fifth inning and scored four times to take the lead for good. DeMaria led off the frame with a double down the left field line. Palummo traded places with his teammate with a run scoring base hit and an advance on the throw. After junior RF Kyle DiVico's sac bunt, Palummo scampered home and tied the game on a wild pitch. With two out, senior 1B Jimmy Guiliano drew a walk and advanced to third on a Budesa single. Mistretta smacked a high chopper over the outstretched glove of the Manhattan third baseman and put runners on second and third and gave Iona a 4-3 lead. Budesa scored with Beckett at the plate on a passed ball to complete the pivotal inning for the Gaels.
Maier earned his fourth win of the season in his eight-inning effort. He threw 117 pitches, scattered seven hits while walking four batters and striking out three in the victory. Senior RHP John Daddino struck out one and walked two batters but got a game-ending double play to preserve the Iona win and earn his fourth save of the season.
Santisteban and sophomore 2B Matt Forlow had two hits apiece for the Jaspers. Freshman LHP Tom Cosgrove took the loss. He allowed all five runs on seven hits and three walks over 4.2 innings and struck out six Gaels. Junior RHP Michael Scarinci gave up two hits and a walk in 3.1 innings of scoreless relief.
The Gaels and Jaspers complete the three-game series with a doubleheader tomorrow beginning at 3:00 pm. Junior RHP Mariano Rivera takes the ball in the opener and graduate LHP Eddie Macaluso in the night cap. Daddino, Guiliano, Macaluso and Rivera will be joined by senior OF Steve Basile and LHP John Nargoski in a senior day presentation at 2:45 pm prior to first pitch of game one.