March 29, 2003
The Siena baseball dropped a pair of MAAC baseball games to Iona College in New Rchelle Saturday at J.B. Buono Field. The Gaels took the first game 5-4 before winning the second 6-5.
Both contests featured strong relief appearances from the Iona bullpen, which kept the games close and allowed the Gaels' offense to mount late-inning rallies and earn two comeback victories.
In the opener, Siena jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a two-run home run from Scott King off of Iona starter Brian Baltz. The Gaels got one back in the bottom of the inning on a Rob Michitsch sacrifice fly, and Iona tied the score in the fourth when Michitsch drove home Mike Perrone, who had doubled to lead off the inning.
After trading single runs in the fifth, Siena took a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning on a Matt Gidaly solo home run, which knocked Baltz out of the game, in favor of Chris Lopez .
Lopez pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, keeping the Gaels within range in the late going
Iona capitalized on the opportunity in the eighth, as Perrone laced a double to left field before Jason Motte put the Gaels ahead for good with his second home run off the season. Lopez earned the win, his second of the year against no losses.
The second game of the doubleheader, scheduled for seven innings, provided more late-inning heroics.
A two-run rally from Siena in the fifth inning gave the Saints a 5-4 lead on starter Brian Parish before coach Al Zoccolillo went to the pen for his other highly effective reliever, Ryan Sullivan. Sullivan got the Gaels out of a bases-loaded jam and held Siena scoreless the rest of the way.
Iona again seized the opportunity and plated the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the sixth. Michitsch led off with a single, and after a walk put runners on first and second, freshman Dan Potocki put down a perfect sacrifice bunt to put the go-ahead run in scoring position.
Steve Sallustio followed with a run-scoring single to tie the game at 5-5. Travis Garcia's grounder to third forced Sallustio at second, but Garcia beat the relay throw as the game-winner crossed the plate.
The Saints and the Gaels will square off Sunday in the series finale at J.B. Buono Field. First pitch is scheduled for noon.