NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College baseball team used a three-run bottom of the ninth inning to walk off with a 5-4 win over Central Connecticut in non-conference action at City Park. Rookie CF John Budesa hit a ground ball to shortstop for a game-winning fielder’s choice to lead the Gaels to the win.
Central Connecticut got on the board in the top of the second, scoring a run without the benefit of a hit. The Gaels took a 2-1 lead in the fifth after senior 1B/RF Jimmy Guiliano drilled a 3-2 pitch to right field to drive in two runs. The lead was short lived as the Blue Devils knotted the score in their next at bat with a two-out hit by RF/LF Mike Arman.
CCSU scored a single run in the seventh and eighth innings to take a 4-2 advantage heading into the final frame. The Gaels started the rally with one out with sophomore LF Matt Byrne drawing a walk. Junior SS Vinny DeMaria singled advancing Byrne to third base. The key play in the inning came with rookie 3B Matt Flannery at the plate. Flannery's ground ball to the Blue Devil shortstop was bobbled and he beat the throw to put the tying run in scoring position. Sophomore 2B Tyler Bruno singled to right field to drive in DeMaria to second base to knot the score at 4-4. Guiliano drew a walk on a 3-2 count to load the bases to set up the game wining play by Budesa.
Guiliano, Flannery and Bruno each had two hits in the game. DeMaria and Flannery scored twice. Guiliano was 2-for-4 with his two RBI.
Sophomore RHP Bill Maier tossed seven strong innings in the no decision. He allowed three runs on six hits with three walks. Junior RHP Alex Fishberg allowed a run in the eighth inning before a scoreless ninth by junior LHP John Nargoski allowed Iona a chance in its final at bat. Nargoski earned his first win of the season.
Arman and C Nick Garland had two hits apiece for the Blue Devils.
The two teams complete a three-game series at Central Connecticut tomorrow with two seven-inning contests beginning at 1:00 pm. Junior RHP Mariano Rivera and graduate LHP Eddie Macaluso take the mound for the Gaels in New Britain, CT.