ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, NY - The Iona College baseball team took a three-game series with Marist after a doubleheader split in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action at Bard College's Honey Field. The Gaels won the opener 2-0 on the right arm of junior Mariano Rivera and his complete-game, one-hitter. The Red Foxes came from behind twice in a 9-8 heartbreaker in the 11-inning nightcap.
Rivera tossed 92 pitches and throwing 60 strikes as he allowed just one base runner, a leadoff single up the middle in the fifth inning. His 11 strikeouts in the game were the second highest of his career and second 10+ punch out effort of the season.
The Gaels got on the board in their first at bat. Rookie CF Jon Budesa led off with a classic 14-pitch at-bat which saw nine offerings fouled off. After advancing to second on a balk, junior LF Travis Mistretta drove in the first run of the contest with a base hit through the right side.
Iona scored its second tally in the third. A one-out walk by senior 1B Jimmy Guiliano and an infield hit by Mistretta got the inning going. Mistretta advanced to second on a failed stolen base attempt by Giuliano and scored on a two-out single by sophomore C Alex Beckett.
The runs would be all Rivera would need as Rivera retired the side in order in six of the seven innings he pitched.
Mistretta and Beckett had two hits apiece in the win.
In the night cap, the Gaels jumped ahead 1-0 two batters in to the contest. Sophomore 2B Matt Byrne tripled to lead off the inning and scored three pitches later on an RBI groundout by Giuliano.
Iona led 2-0 after the top the second following a two-out RBI double by junior RF Kyle DiVico plated junior DH Carmine Palummo.
The Red Foxes halved their deficit in their half of the second, plating a leadoff double by 1B Steve Laurino.
The Gaels scored a run in the fourth inning and two in the fifth. Palummo doubled to lead off the fourth and scored two batters later on an RBI ground out by junior SS Vinny DeMaria. Beckett's double and Palummo's single in the fifth gave Iona a 5-1 lead.
Marist scratched across a run in the fifth and sixth innings as Iona led 5-3 after six frames.
In the eighth, another two-out RBI gave the Gaels a 6-3 lead. Guiliano drove in DiVico.
Marist's first late game rally came with two-out in the eighth. A bloop double by LF Matt Pagano with two on scored the first run. A 2-1 base hit up the middle by RF Zach Racusin knotted the score at six a piece heading into the ninth.
After a scoreless ninth and 10th innings, each team got on the board in the 11th. DeMaria's two-out, two-run double gave the Gaels and 8-6 advantage.
Marist walked off with a win after five hits and a walk in their half of the inning.
Senior LHP Eddie Macaluso started the contest and left after six-plus innings talking a no decision. He struck out eight batters and allowed three runs on four hits and two walks after 93 pitches.
DiVico had three-hits in six at bats with a run scored and an RBI. DeMaria was 2-for-5 with three RBI. Palummo, Giuliano and Byrne all had two hits in the loss.
Marist also had four players with multiple hits including Pagano and CF Graham McIntire with three each.
The Gaels improved to 2-4 in MAAC play after taking two of three from the Red Foxes. Iona is back in action at Fairfield Friday to begin a MAAC series with the Stags.