POUGHKEEPSIE, New York – Behind a combined 15 runs and 15 hits, the Marist baseball team swept its fourth Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader and won its fifth conference series of 2017 with 5-1 and 10-1 wins vs the Rider Broncs at McCann Field on Saturday.
With the two victories, the team's fifth and sixth straight wins, the Red Foxes improve to 25-18 (12-5 MAAC) and are seven games over .500 which marks the highest they've been above .500 all season.
In Game 1, junior Matt Iantosca led Marist offensively with a perfect game at the plate, finishing 3-for-3 with two RBI, while sophomore Randy Taveras chipped in two hits and two RBI. Senior Tyler Kirkpatrick finished with two hits and two runs scored, junior Andrew Rouse had one hit and one run scored and redshirt freshman Tyler Kapuscinski picked up a hit. Sophomore Frankie Gregoire and redshirt senior Matt Pagano each finished with a run scored.
On the mound, senior Sean Keenan gave the Red Foxes' a hard fought outing, picking up his fifth win on the season while pitching seven and one third innings of three hit and one run ball to go along with three walks and seven strikeouts. Junior Mike Coss notched his third save, throwing two innings of scoreless ball while giving up one hit with two strikeouts.
In the second game of the day, sophomore Anthony Lazar finished with one hit, one walk, one run scored and two RBI, while Rouse chipped in a hit, a walk, a run scored and two RBI. For the second consecutive game, Iantosca finished with two RBI and also picked up a hit and one run scored, Kirkpatrick chipped in one hit, two walks, two runs scored and one RBI and Gregoire finished with a run scored and one RBI. Taveras and Kapuscinski each chipped in one hit and one run scored freshman Matt Rubayo finished with a walk and one run scored.
Junior Charlie Jerla won his fifth straight start to give himself seven wins on the season and threw a complete game while giving up just one run on five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Marist opened the scoring in the bottom of the third when Kirkpatrick led off with a double off the right field fence. Pagano reached on a sacrifice bunt when the pitcher tried to throw out Kirkpatrick at third who was called safe and Iantosca followed with an RBI single through the right side that scored Kirkpatrick for the 1-0 lead and advanced Pagano to second. Lazar then reached on a fielder's choice with Iantosca out at second and Pagano advanced to third and then scored when the second baseman's throw skipped past the first baseman for the 2-0 advantage.
The Broncs answered in the next inning. Mike Volaski singled with two outs and Dalton Mayberry followed with an RBI double to left center to trim the deficit to 2-1.
Two innings later, the Red Foxes added a run when Rouse singled up the middle and advanced to second on a ground out. Two batters later, Taveras smoked a double to left center that scored Rouse for the 3-1 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, Marist again added a run on a Kirkpatrick single to the shortstop, a Pagano sac bunt that moved Kirkpatrick to second, a stolen base by Kirkpatrick during the next at bat and an RBI single by Iantosca that gave the home team the 4-1 lead.
For the third straight inning, the Red Foxes scored a run in the bottom of the eighth when after a Rider pitching change, Gregoire reached on a hit by pitch and advanced to second on a throwing error by the pitcher on a pickoff attempt during the next at bat. Kocinski moved Gregoire to third with a ground out and Taveras followed with an RBI single through the left side for the 5-1 lead.
Looking for a ninth inning rally, the Broncs came to bat for the last time in the ninth and got a one out single from Volaski but Coss slammed the door, getting the next two batters to fly out to left and pop out to right to seal the 5-1 win.
It was Rider that struck first in the day's second game when Brian Uliana singled with one out in the third and advanced to second on a ground out bunt by the following batter. Kyle Johnson then poked an RBI single through the right side that scored Uliana for the 1-0 lead.
Marist answered in the bottom of the inning when Lazar and Rouse reached on back-to-back walks with one out and stole third and second respectively during the next at bat. Gregoire followed with an RBI sac fly to right and the game was tied 1-1.
Kapuscinski reached on a one out walk in the bottom of the fourth for the Red Foxes before Kirkpatrick singled through the left side. Both runners advanced to third and second on a Pagano sac bunt, Iantosca walked to load the bases and Lazar ripped a two RBI single to left to give Marist the 3-1 lead. Iantosca and Lazar advanced to third and second on a wild pitch and Rouse laced another two RBI single through the left side that scored both runners. Gregoire was intentionally walked before Rouse and Gregoire stole third and second and Rouse scored when the catchers throw to third skipped into left field and the Red Foxes held a 6-1 lead.
Two innings later after a Bronc's pitching change, Gregoire reached on a one out error by the third baseman and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Two batters later, Taveras reached on a hit by pitch, Rubayo pinch hit and walked to load the bases and Kirkpatrick walked which scored Gregoire. After a second Rider pitching change, a wild pitch allowed Taveras to score and Rubayo and Kirkpatrick to move up to third and second, Pagano walked and Iantosca smacked a two RBI single to right center to extend the Marist lead to 10-1.
The first two Broncs in the seventh went down on a strikeout swinging and a fly out to right before Uliana singled. Joe Simone pinch hit but Jerla struck him out swinging as well to seal the 10-1 Red Fox win.
Up next, the two teams will wrap up the three game series with a nine inning single game at McCann Field on Sunday at 12 PM.