Manhattan Baseball Sweeps MAAC Series with Iona
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Jaspers' sophomore starter Scott McClennan was clicking on the mound as he pitch eight strong innings to lead the Manhattan baseball team to an 8-6 victory over Iona (9-18, 2-4 MAAC) on Monday at Van Cortlandt Park. Junior catcher Ramon Ortega and sophomore shortstop Yoandry Galan drove in two runs apiece to help Manhattan (8-17, 4-2 MAAC) complete the three game sweep of the Gaels and improve to a perfect 5-0 at home this season.
Manhattan exploded for eight runs over the third, fourth and fifth innings to support McClennan who was cruising on the hill. McClennan yielded only two earned runs and he posted a strike out in his first victory of the year. He was supported by a superb defensive effort led by the Jaspers middle infielders, Galan and freshman second baseman Joe McClennan. The duo combined for 15 of Manhattan's 18 assists on the afternoon.
Junior centerfielder Anthony Vega also delivered some key defensive plays that sparked the Jaspers. Vega showed off his arm in the third inning with no outs when he threw out Gaels' third baseman Chris Burke with a pinpoint throw as Burke attempted to advance from first to third base on a single, a play which essentially prevented an Iona run. Then in the seventh inning, Vega made a spectacular diving catch to end the frame.
The Jaspers poured runs on quickly after falling behind 1-0 on Bobby Vitulano's RBI single in the second inning. All eight of Manhattan's runs came with two outs beginning in the third inning when Ortega smashed a two run double to left field. Sophomore right fielder Andrew Gorecki added an RBI single in the inning that sent the Jaspers out to a 3-1 lead.
Vega put his speed on display in the fourth inning with a stand up RBI triple. Junior designated hitter Nick Camastro then drove him in with a double to left field, and scored later in the inning on an error that put Manhattan up 6-1.
The fifth inning featured Galan's two RBI double to left center field which allowed freshman left fielder Aidan O'Leary and Gorecki to come across the plate. Galan hit 2-for-3 and scored two runs to complete an exceptional all around performance.
Burke carried Iona's offense in its late inning spurt that pulled the Gaels within a couple runs. The senior third baseman laced a pair of two run homers in the eighth and ninth inning.
Manhattan needed to call on reliever Jacob Marchus to get the final out of the game after Burke went yard for the second time to cut the Jaspers lead to 8-6. Marchus got the job done by striking out Gaels' senior James Beck as he earned his second straight save against Iona.
The Jaspers carry their four game win streak to West Point, N.Y. on Wednesday when Manhattan visits Army at 3 p.m. Manhattan resumes conference play on Friday when the Jaspers host Niagara at Van Cortlandt Park.