By Dylan Butler
Steve Iorio knew if the St. Francis College baseball team didn’t beat Central Connecticut State once in a season-ending three-game series, then his collegiate baseball career was over. The Howard Beach resident did everything he could to make sure that didn’t happen.
The former Christ the King standout batted .500 (6-for-12) in the three-game set, hitting four doubles, driving in four runs and stealing a pair of bases for the Terriers, who earned the fourth and final seed in this weekend’s Northeast Conference tournament at FirstEnergy Park in Lakewood, N.J.
For a spectacular weekend at the plate in the Terriers biggest games of the season, Iorio, a senior outfielder, was named NEC Player of the Week, the conference announced Monday.
In the opening game of the series Saturday at the Narrows Recreational Complex in Brooklyn, Iorio went 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base and scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.
In the nightcap, Iorio helped ignite a four-run rally in the bottom of the sixth inning with a two-run double as St. Francis College swept the doubleheader, 6-4. Mike Cannone, a Holy Cross grad from Holliswood, also hit a two-run single in the stanza.
In the Terriers 3-2 loss to the Blue Devils Sunday, Iorio was 2-for-5 and drove in his team's only two runs. He boosted his batting average to .362, fifth best in the NEC, and leads St. Francis College with 12 doubles.
Charlie D’Elia wasn’t so lucky. The former Archbishop Molloy standout missed out on a chance for postseason play in his final season at Quinnipiac. But that doesn’t mean the senior shortstop didn’t make the most of his final college game.
The Neponset native went 3-for-8, including two home runs and five RBIs to lead Quinnipiac (12-30, 9-18) to a season-ending doubleheader split with Long Island University Sunday. Quinnipiac took game one, 7-1 and dropped the nightcap, 7-3.
With those three hits, D’Elia improved his NEC best batting average to .404, becoming the first player in Quinnipiac history to reach that mark at the Division I level. Tim Belcher batted .471 in 1997 when Quinnipiac was a Division II school.
For the week, D’Elia hit .462 (6-for-13) with three homers, 10 RBIs and six runs scored. He ranks 13th on the school’s all-time hit list with 140.
Despite being honored on Senior Day, D’Elia hopes to extend his collegiate career by one more year. He is applying for a medical redshirt after missing all but five games last year with an arm record.
Former Cardozo standout Steve Duke has one more year of collegiate baseball left and will do so as the Yale captain, the Bayside native learned at the school’s awards banquet May 8.
Duke, a junior who started all 39 games at second base, batted .288 and set career highs in hits (42), runs (27), at-bats (146), and RBIs (21). Duke, whose brother David is an assistant basketball coach at Hofstra, adds his name to a list that includes former President George Bush. Duke was also named to the Verizon Academic All-District team last week.
One Queens native who has a long college career ahead of him is Stony Brook freshman pitcher Jonathan Lewis. The former Francis Lewis star allowed one earned run on three hits, striking out five and walking three in the Seawolves’ 3-1 win at the University of Maine Saturday.
Lewis was named co-Rookie of the Week by the America East conference, along with Hartford first baseman Ryan Cuscovitch, the league announced Monday.
For the season, Lewis is 7-3 with a team-high 3.44 ERA. In 73.1 innings, the righty has a team-best 74 strikeouts with only 28 walks.
SJU’s Allman earns Big East honors
St. John’s freshman pitcher Meghan Allman was named to the Big East All-Rookie team, the conference announced last Thursday at the Big East softball championships in Salem, Va.
Allman was literally a one-woman show for the Red Storm this year as the San Diego, Calif. native pitched in all but three games this year. By doing so, she rewrote most of the single season pitching records at St. John’s, including setting the mark for wins (21), strikeouts (267), innings pitched (331), appearances (52) and complete games (43).
Allman finished the year with a 21-27 record with a 1.90 earned run average, tossing three no-hitters and 13 shutouts. At one point, Allman pitched 50 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.
Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.