Sam Mongillo broke a scoreless stalemate with an RBI single up the middle in the top of the ninth, while junior righty Matt Aufiero forced a called third strike with a pair of runners in scoring position in the bottom of the frame to secure a 1-0 win over Ball State on day one of the Swing and Swine Tournament. With the win, Sacred Heart improves to 4-6 on the year while Ball State fell to 4-9.
The Pioneers will continue the three-day, Swing and Swine Tournament with a single game on Saturday afternoon, taking on fellow Nutmeg State rival Yale at Shipyard Park in Mt. Pleasant, S.C. First pitch against the Bulldogs is set for 1:00 p.m.
- The starting pitchers for both teams we dealing right out of the gates, each lasting through seven innings and both pitching over 100 pitches
- For the Cardinals, starting pitcher Kyle Nicholas racked up 17 strikeouts before being lifted in the top of the eighth inning. Nicholas held the Pioneers without a hit through six innings until right fielder Kyle Oliver broke up the no-hitter with a single up the middle.
- Pioneers starter, sophomore southpaw Luke Hansen also lasted seven innings, surrendering five hits and issuing three walks while recording seven outs by way of strikeouts.
- Earning the victory on the hill for the Pioneers was the right handed Matt Aufiero who threw a pair of relief innings without surrendering a hit and striking out one batter, the last batter of the night as he earned his first victory of the season.
At the Plate
- After being held hitless through six innings, the Pioneers mustered two total hits on the day, both from different players. The first hit, which broke up the no-hitter, came from right fielder Kyle Oliver.
- The second hit, the one that mattered the most for Sacred Heart, came in the top of the ninth inning, a single up the middle from Sam Mongillo that knocked in the game-winning run.
- Ball State scattered five hits on the night, all of the starter Hansen, while stranding 11 total runners on base.
How it Happened
- The Cardinals looked to break through in the bottom of the fourth inning when, with one out and the bases loaded, Ryan Peletier drilled a ball to third base with the Pios erasing the lead runner on the force out at home. Hansen would force the next batter to fly out to end the inning.
- In the top of the sixth it was Sacred Heart's chance at scoring first when Kyle Oliver reached on a dropped infield fly that allowed him to advance to second. After a groundout moved him to third, he was left stranded there as the Cardinals Starter, Nicholas, ended the threat with a pair of strikeouts.
- The Pioneers broke the stalemate in the top of the ninth inning, taking advantage of a one-out walk issued to Stephen Thibault. After being pinch run for and with a new pitcher on the hill, LaFragola stole second and eventually scored on a clutch, two out single through the left side off the pine of Sam Mongelli. That hit for Mongelli came after the Cardinals intentionally walked Kyle Oliver who was the only other Sacred Heart player with a hit on the day, with the IBB putting a force at any base.
- After walking a pair of batters in the bottom of the ninth, both of which ended up in scoring position with two outs on the board, Matt Aufiero closed out the victory forcing the number two batter in the lineup to strike out looking.