PISCATAWAY, N.J. (May 16, 2012) – Iona College scored three runs in the top of the ninth to come back and defeat Rutgers University baseball, 5-4, in a makeup game on Wednesday at Bainton Field. Junior third baseman Patrick Kivlehan (West Nyack, N.Y.) crushed his 13th home run of the season for RU to take the BIG EAST lead and tie Jeff Frazier (2002, 2004) for the fourth-most long balls in a single season in program history.
Senior second baseman Dan Perrine (Scotch Plains, N.J.) recorded his seventh career multiple hit game with two singles on the day, notching two of the four hits Rutgers registered in the game.
Sophomore right-hander Charlie Lasky (Freehold, N.J.) pitched well in relief for the Scarlet Knights, logging 3.2 hitless innings and retiring 11 of the 12 batters he faced. Classmate Slater McCue (Radnor, Pa.) struck out five in his fourth start of the year.
The Gaels (19-32) scored single runs in the second and third innings to jump out to a 2-0 lead. However, Kivlehan launched his fifth home run at Bainton Field over the wall in deep left-center to get Rutgers (28-23) on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth.
After an out was recorded, sophomore designated hitter Ross Costello (Egg Harbor Township, N.J.) walked and junior first baseman Bill Hoermann (Toms River, N.J.) doubled to right-center to put runners on second and third. Costello came home during the next at bat on a passed ball to tie the score at two.
The Scarlet Knights took their first lead of the day in the fifth inning. Sophomore center fielder Brian O’Grady (Warminster, Pa.) walked and stole second base, with classmate Nick Favatella (Washington Township, N.J.) also drawing a base on balls to start a rally. Following a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by junior catcher Jeff Melillo (Annandale, N.J.), Kivlehan lined a ball deep enough into right field to score O’Grady for a sacrifice fly. Favatella, who advanced to third on the play, scored on a wild pitch to give RU the 4-2 advantage.
Unfortunately for Rutgers, the lead did not hold up as the Gaels strung together three runs on five hits to take a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth. Tom Kriss worked a perfect inning to earn his sixth save of the season.
Conan Leon (1-1) picked up the win with one perfect inning of relief for the visitors, while senior right-hander Willie Beard (Spotswood, N.J.) (4-1) suffered his first loss of the season.
The Scarlet Knights will look to shake off the defeat in the opener of a three-game series against Villanova at Bainton Field on May 17 at 1 p.m. The game can be heard live on WRSU (88.7 FM).
Dan Perrine made his third start of the season at second base … Melillo caught two runners tying to advance on balls in the dirt, bringing his total up to 19 caught stealings for the season … O’Neill (23) and Beard (22) lead the team in appearances on the mound … RU wraps up its non-conference regular season schedule at 15-12 … today’s game was a makeup of May 2 and May 14 rainouts … the game was played on a mostly sunny, 74-degree afternoon.
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