NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The Iona College baseball team fell to St. John’s in non-conference action in its 2016 home opener at City Park. The Red Storm used a four-run seventh inning to defeat the Gaels 5-2.
Senior SS Vinny DeMaria and freshman 2B Sean Breen each had two hits on the day. Breen and sophomore 3B Seth Hoagland knocked in the two Maroon & Gold runs.
The game was scoreless heading into the bottom of the fifth, junior DH Lou Matarazzo began the frame by reaching base on a hit by pitch. He was advanced to second on a groundout by junior Kyle DiVico. One batter later with two outs, Hoagland connected on a 1-2 pitch by St. John’s starter Michael Lopresti, driving it up the middle to bring Matarazzo home for his first RBI on the year to give the Gaels a 1-0 lead.
St. John’s picked up four runs off on four hits and two errors on the Gaels in the top of the seventh to earn a 4-1 advantage.
Iona got on board in the bottom of the eighth. The two-out tally came after junior 1B Matt Byrne reached on a hit by pitch. Following a pitching change, Breen ripped a triple down the right field line to score Byrne and make the score 4-2.
The Red Storm picked up another run in the bottom of the eight to solidify their 5-2 lead and the final margin.
Freshman RHP Antonio Velardi took the hill for the Gaels, tossing five strong innings, allowing three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Senior RHP Stephan Stafford pitched a scoreless sixth and allowed three earned runs in the seventh. Junior RHP Jake Kurz pitched 1.2 innings in relief allowing a hit and a run. Sophomore RHP Ryan Preusse finished a scoreless ninth inning.
St. John’s was led by SS Jesse Berardi with two hits and two RBI. Second baseman Josh Shaw picked up a key hit and RBI in the seventh inning. Left fielder Michael Donadio also had two hits on the day.
Matt Messier earned the win in relief for St. John’s and Joe Napolitano earned the save.
The Maroon & Gold heads to New Jersey tomorrow (Mar. 9), to face the Big 10’s Rutgers at 3:00 pm.