RIVERDALE, N.Y. – Jaspers’ freshman outfielder Mark Onorati broke a tied ballgame with his two run homer in the bottom of the third propelling Manhattan to a 4-1 victory over Iona (1-32, 1-14) today at Van Cortlandt Park. Freshman standout Dan Forman pitched a gem, posting 11 strikeouts over seven innings of action. With the victory, Manhattan (18-15-1, 9-3) completes the sweep of the Gaels, and shares first place in the MAAC with Canisius.
Iona threatened to break a scoreless contest in the top of the first with two outs and runners on first and second. Gaels’ sophomore Andrew Passerelle singled to right field, but senior outfielder Eric Nieto gunned down the lead runner, Andrew Wernicki, at the plate to end the inning.
Manhattan grabbed a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first when sophomore center fielder Kevin Nieto drove in Eric Nieto with a double to right field. Eric Nieto singled to lead off the inning. He finished 3-for-4 with a stolen base.
The Gaels generated their only run of the series in the top of the third stemming from Trevor Hybner’s lead off walk. Two hits later, Hybner crossed the plate to even the ballgame at 1-1.
Onorati responded in the bottom half of the inning when he sent his fourth home run of the season over the left field wall into the Jaspers’ bullpen. The two run blast gave Manhattan a 3-1 edge.
Forman was dominant through the seventh, and handed over the two run edge to lefty reliever Mike Gazzola. Forman’ performance was brilliant notching 11 strikeouts for his second consecutive outing, while allowing just four hits.
The Jaspers added a fourth run in the bottom of the eighth, and Gazzola struck out three of the final four outs to secure the victory. Gazzola was credited with the save, which marked his first of the season.
Manhattan returns to Van Cortlandt Park on Wednesday for its match up with local rival Columbia. The first pitch of the doubleheader will be tossed at 1:30 p.m.