Gaels Streak Hits Six as Saints Fall, 9-8

March 31, 2003

Despite a 7-5 lead going into the fifth inning of a rescheduled rainout Monday in New Rochelle, the Siena Saints (4-18,3-3 MAAC)dropped their third straight against the Iona Gaels, losing 9-8. The loss is their first lost series of the 2003 MAAC campaign.

The Iona College baseball team picked up its sixth straight win with a 9-8 decision over the Siena College Saints Monday at J.B. Buono Field. Travis Garcia (Bronx, NY) drove home the winning run, snapping an 8-8 tie with a double in the bottom of the ninth inning. The win pushed the Gaels' record to 7-8 on the year, 6-0 against MAAC opponents.

Iona fell behind early as Siena built a 4-0 lead on starter Rob Vaughn (Peekskill, NY). But the Gaels rallied to tie the score with four runs in the second inning. Mark Zettl (White Plains, NY) drew a bases loaded walk to open the scoring. A sacrifice fly from Steve Sallustio (Bronx, NY) made the score 4-2, and a two-run single from Rob Fortner (Mahopac, NY) pulled the Gaels even.

The Saints forged a 7-4 lead by the fourth inning, but Iona mounted another rally an RBI from Fortner in the bottom of the fourth and a solo home run by Jason Motte (Walden, NY) leading off the fifth. An RBI groundout by Rob Michitsch (Glendale, NY) knotted the score at seven after five innings.

The Gaels' bullpen was strong in relief of Vaughn as freshman Marty Hand tossed four innings of one-run ball.

Iona took its first lead of the game, at 8-7, in the sixth on a Fortner solo home run. The junior rightfielder was 3-for-5 on the day with four runs batted in.

The Saints regained the lead in the eighth, pushing an unearned run across against Hand. Reliever Chris Lopez (New Rochelle, NY) was summoned to pitch the ninth with the score tied at 8-8, but the sophomore righty got in trouble as he loaded the bases with no outs.

The Gaels went to the bullpen again for Ryan Sullivan (Bronx, NY), and the senior got a line drive double play for the first two outs of the ninth. After walking a batter to re-load the bases, Sullivan got the next hitter to strike out, ending the threat and keeping the score tied.



With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Zettl reached on a bunt base-hit. Sallustio moved him to second on a single, which set up Garcia's heroics.

Sullivan earned the win, his second of the season.

The Saints immediately travel to Holy Cross for a non-conference game in Worcester. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. Siena returns to Loudonville on Saturday, April 5 to being its home schedule, taking on Manhattan in MAAC action. The twinbill for Saturday begins at noon.