POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – John Leiter (Toms River, N.J./Toms River South) pitched 8.1 strong innings and the Saint Peter's offense scored five runs to lift the Peacocks past Marist in the opening game of a three-game Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference baseball series on Friday.
Leiter allowed four runs (two earned) on nine hits with four strikeouts while not allowing a walk in 8.1 innings to earn his third win of the season.
Rob Moore (Ridge, N.Y./Longwood) paced the Saint Peter's (7-31, 2-11 MAAC) offense with two hits, including a solo homer, along with two runs scored and an RBI. Jon Kristoffersen (Jefferson, N.J./Jefferson Township) added a hit and two RBIs while Angel Perez (Jersey City, N.J./Marist HS) and Tommy Toole (Manasquan, N.J./Manasquan) each registered two hits and a run scored in the winning effort.
Matt Iantosca and Anthony Lazar powered the Red Foxes (18-20, 9-7 MAAC) with two hits and a run scored while Andrew Rouse, Graham McIntire and Joey Aiola each recorded a hit and an RBI in the loss.
The Peacocks jumped out to the advantage and held on after Marist made a couple of comeback attempts to help Saint Peter's open the three-game series with a victory.
The Peacocks grabbed a 5-0 lead after scoring a run in the second and fourth and three runs in the sixth.
Saint Peter's got its runs in the second and fourth on solo homers by Jason Midkiff (Wanaque, N.J./Paramus Catholic) down the right field line in the second and Moore with his bomb to right center on a 1-2 pitch in the fourth.
The Peacocks then scored three times in the sixth to extend the margin to 5-0. Nick Ciocco (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill) walked and stole second and came around to score on Toole's RBI single to right center. The Jersey City team loaded the bases after Perez was hit with a pitch and Mike Ionta (Westfield, N.J./Westfield), who had two hits on the afternoon, reached on an infield single. Kristoffersen plated Toole and Perez on a two-run single up the middle to cap the three-run inning.
The Red Foxes got on the scoreboard with four runs in the bottom of the sixth on Rouse and McIntire RBI groundouts while the third run came home on an error and Aiola made it a one-run game with an RBI triple to right center to trim the margin to 5-4.
Saint Peter's added an insurance run in the ninth after Moore triple down the right field line and touched home on James Spadaccini's (Butler, N.J./Butler) opposite field RBI double to for a 6-4 advantage.
Zachary Racusin and Iantosca hit consecutive singles with one out, but Jake Regina (Rutherford, N.J./Rutherford) relieved Leiter and induced a game-ending double play to earn the save and secure the Peacocks second-straight win against Marist.
The two teams will conclude the series with a doubleheader on Saturday. First pitch is 12 p.m.