NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- A ninth inning rally came one run short for the Iona College baseball team this afternoon as the Gaels fell to the ninth ranked Red Storm of St. Johns 4-3 to kick off a three-game weekend at Virginia Wesleyan.
The Gaels jumped ahead in the fourth inning as Sean Scales drove in Niko Switalla with the games’ opening run on a single. However, the Red Storm responded in the next half inning with a RBI single from Jesse Berardi before taking the lead during the next at-bat as John Valente scored on a ground out from Anthony Brocato.
Berardi knocked in his second RBI of the day during the seventh to push St. John’s ahead 3-1, scoring Valente. The Red Storm added one more insurance run in the top of the ninth as Berardi scored on a wild pitch, proving to be a pivotal tally.
In the bottom half of the ninth inning, Fran Kinsey led the inning off with a single followed by a drawn walk from Sean Breen. Switalla loaded the bases in the next at-bat with a second straight walk. Kinsey scored on a ground out to cut the deficit to 4-2 before pinch runner Brian Picone scored on an error to bring the Maroon & Gold within a run. However, a game ending double play lifted the Red Storm to a 4-3 victory.
The Gaels return tomorrow for a 10:00 am first pitch against Towson at Virginia Wesleyan.