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After multiple schedule changes, the Marist baseball team faced off against the Iona Gaels this past weekend at Bard College to start off conference play.

Due to snow the week before, the series was moved to Bard College for one game on Friday and a doubleheader on Saturday.

Senior pitcher Sean Keenan got his third win of the season after pitching the Red Foxes to a 5-1 victory. Keenan allowed just one run on six hits with three strikeouts. Senior Ryan Thomas closed out the game by pitching two innings and striking out two batters.

Sophomore left-fielder Frankie Gregoire led the offense with three hits and two RBIs, including a home run in the fourth inning. After Tyler Kirkpatrick got hit by a pitch in the sixth, he advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Anthony Lazar. Tyler Kapuscinski singled and Kirkpatrick advanced to third base. He then scored after Gregoire flied out to left field.

Marist scored three more runs in the seventh after multiple errors by the Gaels. Randy Taveras scored on a throwing error, followed by Matt Pagano. Matt Iantosca later scored after an error by Iona’s pitcher.

The first game of the doubleheader on Saturday was just seven innings.

Right-handed pitcher Scott Boches started the game for Marist and gave up three runs on five hits while striking out nine batters. Lefty Mike Coss came on in relief for two innings, giving up just two hits and striking out three.

Anthony Lazar scored the only run of the game for Marist after singling to reach base in the third inning, stealing second and third base, and then scoring on a wild pitch by Iona pitcher Patrick Ryan.

The Red Foxes won the second game of the doubleheader to take the series win.

Freshman Connor McNamara started the game for the Red Foxes. He gave up three runs on five hits in 4.2 innings. Tony Romanelli came in to pitch in relief in the fifth inning and gave up just one hit in three innings. Brandon Bonomo then came in to secure the win for Marist.

After remaining quiet in the first game of the day, the team’s offense came alive in the second game of the day.

The scoring started in the second inning when Pagano doubled to left center field and then scored on a single from Chris Tracz. Gregoire doubled in the third inning and then scored on a single from Tyler Kapuscinski.

Marist then scored five runs in the sixth inning. Matt Pagano started off the inning with a double and then reached third after Tracz reached base on a fielding error by the pitcher. He then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Patrick Lightner that also scored Pagano. Fletcher Szabo then came in to pinch run for Tracz.

After Lazar and Kirkpatrick walked to load the bases, Gregoire singled to left field to score both Szabo and Lazar. Kapuscinski reached base on a bunt followed by a double from Andrew Rouse to score both Kapuscinski and Gregoire.

Marist tacked onto their lead in the seventh inning. Patrick Lightner got hit by a pitch and then stole second base. Lazar singled to advance Lightner who then scored on a throwing error from Iona’s shortstop.

Kirkpatrick then walked. Lazar stole third base and then scored when Gregoire flied out to left field.

The Red Foxes also played a non-conference game on Wednesday, March 29, against UMass Lowell at Dutchess Stadium.

John Parisi started the game for Marist and gave up just two runs on four hits. Austin Phillips pitched two innings in relief and gave up no runs. Brandon Bonomo gave up three runs.

Marist started the scoring in the bottom of the second when Rouse scored on a single from Greg Kocinski. They tacked on to their lead in the third inning when both Kirkpatrick and Gregoire scored. Iantosca scored the in bottom of the fourth on a single from Lazar.

UMass Lowell regained the lead in the top of the sixth inning, but Marist tied it right back up in the bottom of the eighth inning on a sacrifice bunt from Tracz.

With the game going into extra innings, Mike Coss pitched two lights-out innings to set the stage for the winning pitcher, Ryan Thomas.

Marist scored the winning run in the bottom of the 13th inning when Lazar singled in pinch runner Charlie Jerla.

After the game, Lazar spoke about his approach at the plate and staying focused as a team despite all the schedule and location changes the team has experienced over the past couple of weeks. “The coaches have done a great job of keeping us focused in practice,” he said. “My approach during the final at-bat was to stay focused and wait for my pitch.”

Kirkpatrick also spoke about the big games that he has had over the past week. “My approach at the plate has improved a lot over the course of the season,” he said.

The Red Foxes’ next series will be a conference match-up this weekend in Hamden, Connecticut against the Quinnipiac Bobcats. The team will then return home on Saturday, April 8, for another in-conference match-up against the Canisius Golden Griffins.

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