March 19, 2005
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Alec Smith threw his second straight complete game to win a 1-0 pitchers' duel against Sacred Heart's Jay Monti, finish a three-game weekend sweep of the Pioneers and lead the Yale baseball team to its fourth straight win Saturday under the lights at Harbor Yard.
It was the fourth complete game in the last five tries for the Yale rotation. Smith struck out nine and did not walk a batter until the ninth inning. He surrendered six hits. He defeated Massachusetts 6-1 in his previous start and has not allowed a run in 14 innings.
"The story of this series was our dominant starting pitching," said head coach John Stuper. "From Josh Sowers and Mike Mongiardini yesterday to Alec today, we pitched very well and played pretty good defense."
Sowers pitched a complete-game 1-0 shutout in Friday's first game, and Mongiardini allowed just two earned runs in the second, a 4-3 win.
"It's tough to win three games in a row against the same team, so this is great," Stuper said.
Monti took a no-hitter into the fifth, but the Bulldogs' first hit was a costly one. Josh Zabar and Josh Cox drew walks, and Chris Esper slapped an 0-2 pitch through the middle for a two-out hit to plate Zabar with the game's only run. Zac Bradley was hit with a pitch to load the bases, but Monti came back to record his second strikeout of the game to end the threat.
Smith struck out seven in his first five innings. He stranded runners in scoring position in the first and fourth and struck out two batters each in the second, fourth and fifth.
Yale (6-7) had a chance to put some more runs on the board in the sixth when Matt Stone led off by reaching on an error and John Janco hit a liner just out of the reach of leaping third baseman Rob Tenzca. Zabar stung a ball to the left side, but right at Tenzca, who fielded it on one hop to start a 5-4-3 double play. Monti struck out the next batter.
After Smith retired the first hitter in the eighth, Ryan Nemcek and Tenzca notched back-to-back hits. Smith then made a snow-cone grab on a chopper and threw to Esper at second, who threw on to first for the inning-ending double play.
Anthony Diaz fouled off three two-strike pitches and drew a one-out walk in the ninth, but the next batter hit a ground ball to Esper, who stepped on second and threw to Marc Sawyer at first to end the game.
Monti allowed just three hits in a complete-game effort. He struck out three and walked three. Tenzca went 2-for-4 for the Pioneers (1-13).
Yale was the home team because two of the weekend's games were originally scheduled for Yale Field.
report by Casey Hart, Yale Sports Publicity