Yale Sweeps Pace; Sowers Flirts With Perfection

Yale Sweeps Pace; Sowers Flirts With Perfection

March 26, 2005

Game 1 Box Score | Game 2 Box Score |  Photo Gallery

New Haven, Conn. - Josh Sowers came within one strike of a perfect game to help Yale defeat Pace 4-1 in the first game of a doubleheader at Yale Field, and Jon Hollis and Alec Smith combined to shut out the Pacers 3-0 in the second as the Bulldogs opened their home season with two wins and extended their winning streak to six games.

In 16 total innings the three Yale righthanders allowed five hits, struck out 22 and did not walk a batter. They held the Setters (4-8) to a .093 batting average (5-for-54). The rest of the Bulldogs did their part too. Yale did not commit an error.

Matt Stone slammed three doubles and drove in two runs for the Bulldogs (8-7). Zac Bradley also had three hits, and John Janco notched the only home run of the twinbill.

Game 1

Sowers (2-0) retired the first 20 batters he faced before Mike Pahira doubled to left on a 2-2 pitch with two outs in the seventh and Yale up 4-0. Sowers struck out eight batters including all three in the top of the sixth.

After Pahira's hit, Sowers left the game to a standing ovation, and Mike Mongiardini came in to face the final two batters. Ted Mullen doubled down the line to plate Pahira and end Sowers' scoreless inning streak at 20.

No Bulldog has ever thrown a perfect game. The last Eli to throw a no-hitter was Ron Darling, who hurled 11 no-hit innings in an eventual 1-0 loss to Frank Viola and St. John's in the 1981 NCAA Northeast Regional.

Janco got the Bulldogs on the board in the bottom of the second, crushing a line drive over the rightfield fence for a solo shot to lead off the inning. Eric Rasmussen and Jake Doyle rattled off back-to-back one-out hits, a single to right and a double over the centerfielder's head. Rasmussen came in to score on a passed ball to make it 2-0.

The Bulldogs tallied two more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Zac Bradley drew a one-out walk and stole second. He took off for third when Janco hit a hard grounder to first. Matt Castellano made a diving stop, but his throw wasn't in time to get Janco and got away from the pitcher to score Bradley. Stone then doubled to plate Dan Soltman, who came on to run for Janco.

Bradley, Janco and Jake Doyle each tallied two hits in the game for Yale. Bradley also made a nice running catch for the second out in the seventh to preserve the perfect game. Chris Esper also made an impressive play to keep the no-hitter in tact, leaping to grab a liner off the bat of Mullen to start the fourth.

Starter Bryan Hallberg allowed 10 Bulldog hits and two earned runs. Only two Elis struck out, one against Hallberg and one against Robert Van Riper.

Game 2

Pitching was once again the story in the nightcap. Hollis struck out eight batters in just five innings to improve to improve to 2-0. Smith struck out six in four innings to notch the save. Each allowed two hits.

David Qualben was effective on the mound for Pace, striking out five batters in five innings and allowing one earned run on four hits. Errors cost the Setters two other runs.

The Elis jumped ahead with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the first. Josh Cox reached on an error to open the inning and eventually scored when the Setters could not handle a Josh Zabar fly ball. Stone doubled to right center to bring in Zabar for a 2-0 edge.

Bradley reached on a one-out infield hit in the third and later came home on an RBI ground out by Marc Sawyer. Zabar also had a double in the inning.

Hollis and Smith struck out at least one batter in every inning but the seventh. They struck out two batters in an inning six times. Smith has not allowed a run in his last 18 innings of work.

report by Casey Hart, Yale Sports Publicity