ESPN broadcaster’s wife killed in crash

by Anthony Payero

ESPN anchor Chris Berman lost his wife due to a horrid car accident in Connecticut on Tuesday afternoon, according to ESPN president John Skipper.

Katherine Ann Berman, 67, was a school teacher. The crash occurred around 2:15 p.m. on Route 64 in Woodbury. Two cars were involved, and both drivers were killed. Edward Bertulis, 87, was the other driver.

In the aftermath of the collision, Berman’s 2003 Lexus SC 430 went off road and overturned into some water. State police told the Hartford Courant Bertulis’s 2003 Ford Escape struck a pole and rolled onto its roof.

Nancy Bertulis, Edward’s daughter, revealed that he had just left the cemetery where he visited his wife’s grave, who died in 2015, according to the Courant.

“This is a difficult time for both families,” Nancy Bertulis said on behalf of her siblings in a statement. “We would appreciate our privacy as we grieve our loss. My father was healthy and happy and drove the speed limit.”

The Berman family was in preparation for the patriarch’s 62nd birthday, which was on Wednesday. Chris and Kathy Berman were married for more than 33 years. The couple had two children, Doug and Meredith. kathy-chris-berman-espn-killed-dies-car-accident

Berman was in attendance for the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants game when New York police broke the news to him.

Berman began his career after graduating from Brown University with ESPN in 1979. Although he stepped down from his role as lead anchor for the network’s “Sunday NFL Countdown”, he remains under contract with the company.

Skipper shared kind words in a statement released on Wednesday.

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This is a devastating tragedy and difficult to comprehend. Chris is beloved by all his ESPN colleagues and for good reason: He has a huge heart and has given so much to so many over the years,” he said. “We know how much his family means to him and all we can do at a moment like this is give him the love and support he will surely need at this hour. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris, Meredith, Doug and the entire family.”

Iona peaks at the right time, wins last four of six contests

By Matt Lisella

The Iona College baseball team is playing its best baseball of the season, and doing so at the right time. The Gaels (17-17, 10-5 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) have won four of their last six contests, catapulting the team into second place in the MAAC. The Maroon & Gold have won four straight conference series, including a doubleheader sweep at rival Siena in the first two games of a three-game set on April 29.

The Gaels took game one 12-6, behind senior pitcher Bill Maier, who pitched six innings and struck out seven batters. Maier did give up six runs, but with plenty of help from the offense, he moved to 6-3 on the season.

Maier’s 2.78 ERA is one of the best among starting pitchers in the MAAC this season. Maier’s ability to be around the plate all game, and pitch to contact is a reason why he’s been so successful. His 11 walks in almost 60 innings are among the league leaders for starting pitchers.

The Iona offense got going early in the first inning. Junior Sean Scales and graduate student Alex Beckett both drove in runs with singles. The Gaels continued to pour on runs in innings three through six as five different Gaels had multi-hit games.

Scales finished 3-for-6 with two RBIs, Beckett added two hits with two runs driven in, senior Matt Byrne had three hits of his own and drove in two, while sophomore Fran Kinsey and junior Lou Matarazzo combined to go 10-for-11 with six runs scored and three RBIs in the win.

Kinsey, who is in his second season with Iona, has made a definite case for All-MAAC First Team honors. He not only leads the team in runs (25) and RBI (24), but Kinsey is top five in the conference in batting average, hitting .354.

“Our lineup is one of the deepest lineups I’ve ever been a part of,” Kinsey said. “It’s been a special group and we’re just getting started.”

Game two also went to the Maroon & Gold as they pulled out a 9-6 victory after trailing 6-1 in the first inning. The Gaels chipped away at the Saint’s lead, scoring four runs in the second. Kinsey lead the charge with a two-run single to get Iona within one.

After a Kinsey sacrifice fly in the fourth to tie it, Iona added three more runs in the fifth to go ahead for good.

Freshman left-hander Mario Ferraioli earned the win out of the bullpen, throwing 4.1 innings and allowing just 2 hits. He also added five strikeouts.

Junior Jared Finkel came on to convert the six-out save and ensure the win for Iona. The right-hander is now among the league-leaders with a 1.21 ERA. He is also the MAAC saves leader, with eight.

“I am just extremely lucky to be able to contribute to our success,” Finkel said. “If we stay on this path, I think we might have a great chance to make some noise in the postseason.”

Finkel is also one save away from tying the school record of nine set by Brian Parish in 2004. It’s a record mark he wasn’t aware of.

“Oh, wow,” Finkel said after learning of his opportunity. “I wasn’t aware. That would be awesome to be able to put my name in the record books. More saves mean more wins and more wins is what makes me happy.”

Iona closed out the three game series against Siena with a 8-3 victory.

The Gaels will look to stay hot when they take on No. 18 St. John’s in Queens on Tuesday, but stats were not available as of press time. Iona will then host Canisius in crucial three-game series, which starts on May 6.

Iona places sixth in the MAAC Tournament

icgaels.com

By Matt Lisella

The Iona College golf team traveled to Lake Buena Vista, Fla. for the 2017 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) tournament, which ran from April 21 to 23. The Gaels competed at Disney’s Magnolia Course, where they placed sixth out of nine schools.

The first round of play was highly competitive. All the teams battled shot-for-shot, and seven teams were able to finish within six strokes of each other. Iona shot a 313, which kept them in a tie for third place with Rider and Saint Peter’s. Siena led after day one with a 309.

Senior Brian Fitzpatrick and sophomore Paolo Matti led the charge for Iona. The New Jersey natives played their best golf in the opening round to help keep the Gaels in the hunt early. Matti shot a 77 (+5). Fitzpatrick, playing in his final collegiate tournament, shot a first round 76 (+4).

The Maroon & Gold had a poor second round, while the rest of the pack played much better. Iona shot a 317 and fell back to seventh on the leaderboard. The underclassmen played well in this round. Freshman Matt Mirocco and freshman Oisin Devereux shot two strokes apart from each other. Mirocco had a 76 (+4) and Devereux a 78 (+6).

With the rest of the team shooting over an 80, it was difficult for them to overcome.

The Gaels’ 301 on Sunday was good for fourth in the third round, but only enough to move them up to sixth place where they would finish. Overall they shot (+67), 11 strokes behind fourth place Monmouth and Rider. Gael sophomore Devin Delisle had his best round on the final. He shot a 73 (+1), including one Eagle. Mirocco shot a 74 (+2), which was his best performance of the weekend.

“I feel like I thought better throughout the third round,” Delisle said. “I was able to move on from the bad shots easier and able to recover better.”

Recovery is something the rising sophomore has taken pride in all year. He said “not only from bad shots, but a bad round,” and this mindset has helped him toward the end of tournaments.

Delisle’s final round was special. He recorded four birdies on the back nine, but still feels that he can work extra on his putt game over the summer.

“I want to work hard to improve my short game,” Delisle said. “That’s the weakest part of my game.”

Delisle will be back for his junior season, along with Devereux, Mirocco, Matti and Blake Vodges.

Iona finished 16th in the Manor Intercollegiate

icgaels.com

By Matt Lisella

The Iona College golf team completed its final round of the Manor Intercollegiate in Farmville, Va. on April 2. Despite shooting an impressive 306 (+28) to cap off the weekend, the Gaels finished in 16th out of 16 schools. The University of Rhode Island won the tournament by shooting an 872, two strokes better than Dartmouth.

Iona’s 306 (+28) score on the final day of the tournament was the best round of the weekend and the team were carried by their underclassmen. Freshman Oisin Devereux shot a team-best 73 (+1), while fellow freshman Matt Mirocco shot a 76 (+4) and sophomore Devin Delisle continued his good play this season with a 77 (+5).

“I think it’s tough to play yourself into good form,” Devereux said. “For the guys who didn’t have great tournaments, it’s very hard to forget about that, and then next week come out and play well.”

Devereux improved on each round he shot in Virginia. Round one was a 78 (+6) and round two was a 76 (+4), before his brilliant third round, which brought him to 39th place in the individual leaderboard. His 227 stroke total (+11) was first for the Gaels.

“I did the simple things right,” Devereux said. “I didn’t try to force anything and if I made a mistake I didn’t compound it into something really bad.”

Delisle placed just outside the top 50 with his tally of 232 (+16) and Mirocco tied for 66th (+20).

Sophomore Paolo Matti didn’t play his best golf, shooting a 245 (+29), which was good for 83rd, but his 78 (+6) in the second round was a good sign as even though Iona lacked rhythm, it’s something that changes on a week-to-week basis.

“We have put in a good week of practice leading up to this tournament,” Matti said, speaking of the Maroon & Gold’s upcoming trip to Pennsylvania. “I think we can put up a great array of rounds this week.”

The Gaels are using the 2017 Masters Tournament, watching some of the top professional golf players in the world, to motivate themselves moving forward in the spring season.

“It’s pretty awesome getting to watch the best players in the world play one of the best courses in the world,” Matti said. “It gets me excited to play for sure.”

Iona will travel to Coraopolis, Pa. to take part in the 2017 Colonial Golf Classic at Montour Heights Country Club, from April 9 to April 11.

Constant rain delays plague the Gaels’ rhythm

By Matt Lisella

The Iona College baseball team wrapped up its weekend series with Marist on Mar. 25 after taking one of three games.

Iona (6-10, 1-2 MAAC), dropped the first game of the series, 5-1 on Mar. 24. Senior pitcher Bill Maier had another good outing, throwing seven strong innings and allowing three earned runs, but scoring just one run wasn’t enough to pull out the victory.

Junior pitcher Patrick Ryan started the middle game. Ryan gave up just one hit across his five innings of work and struck out six on route to his second win of the young season. The Gaels were able to pull off the 3-1 victory thanks to some timely hitting. Senior catcher Joe Lovecchio went 2-for-3 with an RBI single and a run scored, while sophomore infielder/outfielder Fran Kinsey also drove in a run.

Junior reliever Jared Finkel picked up the six-out save, his third of the season, after retiring six of seven batters faced and recording five groundouts.

Finkel is now 1-0 with three saves and a 2.45 ERA in 11.0 innings pitched so far. He attributes his current success to his predecessors.

“As a freshman I had plenty of pitchers to look up to and learned how to get outs at the Division 1 level,” Finkel said. “Trusting my fastball down in the zone has really been working, in addition to a great defense behind me.”

Iona dropped the series finale, 10-3. The Marist offense was too much for the Gaels’ pitching. Sophomore second baseman Sean Breen highlighted the offense, going 2-for-4 with two runs driven in.

The Maroon & Gold were given the opportunity to compete in the Virginia Wesleyan Tournament in Norfolk, Va., where they won and lost one game.

The Gaels lost to St. John’s 4-3, on Mar. 17. Maier took the loss but pitched well. He gave up one earned run in five innings and struck out four.

Iona trailed by three entering the ninth. Junior Matt Flannery had an RBI groundout and freshman Brian Picone scored on an error to bring them within one, yet graduate student Alex Beckett grounded into a game ending double play to end the game.

Ryan threw five strong innings in the second game of the tournament, again allowing just one hit in the win. The game was scoreless through seven and a half innings until Iona erupted for three in the bottom of the eighth, securing a 3-1 victory. Junior infielder Sean Scales led the charge with a two-run single. He went 2-for-4 with two runs driven in.

The third game of the tournament was canceled due to rain.

The Gaels’ offense has gotten off to a slow start this season. Iona is averaging just 3.5 runs a game and they’ve scored three runs or less in its last 11 contests. The Gaels, however, had five rainouts in the month of March, which could play a part in their slow start.

“I think it is tough dealing with these conditions, but it’s kind of what you have to deal with playing in the northeast,” Kinsey, who’s hitting .298, said. “I feel like once the weather gets a little warmer and the season progresses, we will find a rhythm.”

While the offense works out its kinks, Assistant Coach Paul Panik says they will continue to rely on the backend of their bullpen to get them through games.

“It creates a comfort level for us as a coaching staff when we turn the game over to those guys,” Panik said.

Senior pitcher Andrew Camiolo has one save in eight innings this season, while posting a 0.00 ERA as he, and Finkel look to remain one of the best pens in the conference.

Iona sweeps St. Peter’s, clinches playoff berth

By Anthony Payero

The Iona College softball team (25-19, 14-4 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) swept a doubleheader against Saint Peter’s on Sunday to remain in first place in the conference.

The Gaels, who has clinched a spot in the MAAC Tournament, showed their power as they hit an impressive eight home runs on the day, six coming in the second game. Game one saw Iona take down the Peacock’s 11-5 innings. The Gaels set the tone in the first inning with a three-run home run by senior first baseman Kristen Turner. After a RBI single by senior left fielder Ashlyn Morris, Turner hit another home run to give her a double-digit home run total this season.

Sophomore pitcher Alana Evans was efficient on the mound once again, allowing two hits and striking out eight of 18 batters faced.

Iona carried the offensive momentum into game two as the team defeated St. Peter’s 12-5. Tori Danner, Kimberly Chiapparelli and Jasmine Temple each blasted home runs in the third inning. Evans, a two-time MAAC Pitcher of the Week, was solid through five innings. The Gaels 12 runs scored is tied for the 10th most runs in a game. Iona’s six home runs is a new single-game record. It beat the previous record of five home runs, which was set in 2015 against St. Peter’s.

Before playing against the Peacocks, Iona faced the Rider Broncs on April 26. Game one finished in shutout fashion, with the Gaels winning 7-0. Evans threw seven innings while only giving up three hits, a walk and seven strikeouts.

Game two finished with a score of 6-0. Freshman Marnie Skinner dominated in seven innings, giving up only three hits and one walk in the shutout. Four Gaels had multi-hit games.

Before the Rider matchup, the Gaels also swept Fairfield in two games. Iona won 2-1 and 3-1 respectively.

The Gaels split a doubleheader against Quinnipiac, winning the first game 8-0 in five innings, but lost, 6-1 in game two.

The Gaels return to action on Sunday for Senior Day against the Manhattan Jaspers.