Smith Leads Baseball in 7-0 Complete Game Shutout; Chargers Take Game Two 6-2

Charger Athletics

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – The University of New Haven baseball team swept Bentley University 7-0, 6-2 Saturday afternoon at Frank Vieira Field. With the two wins, the Chargers improve to 28-9 overall and 16-6 in the Northeast-10 Conference. Bentley falls to 19-20 overall and 12-9 in conference play.

Game One
Senior pitcher Chris Smith led the Chargers to victory in the first game with the complete game shutout on the mound. The senior dealt nine strikeouts and just over 100 pitches in the appearance. He allowed just four hits in the nine innings, while showing poise with no walks and no wild pitches.

Smith’s run support came quickly in the opening game as the Chargers cashed in on five hits and one error in the bottom of the first inning. UNH got all the way through the order in the first inning, while scoring three and stranding three on base. New Haven’s only other runs came in the bottom of the third inning, but New Haven also had the opportunity to build a larger lead with two runners left on base in the second inning.

Smith forced three ground outs in the top of the third and then the Chargers first two batters reached base in the bottom half of the inning. Freshman Jack Heary then hit a single which was fumbled around by the right fielder, scoring two and putting the Chargers up 5-0. Heary followed by stealing third, while Tom Rombilus put the Chargers up 6-0 when he drove in Heary with a double to right center. After Rombilus stole third, Ryan Brockett grounded out with a bunt to the pitcher and drove in the team’s seventh run.

Bentley’s closest opportunity to come back came in the seventh inning when they strung two hits together, but Smith kept the shutout alive with back-to-back strikeouts and a fly out to end the inning. The Falcons also had a base runner in the ninth inning, but Smith retired the last batter with his ninth strikeout of the game.

Rombilus led the team with three hits, two runs and one RBI. Brockett also went 3-for-5 with one run and one RBI, while Shane O’Connell added two hits, a run and a RBI. Three other Chargers also recorded RBI’s in the victory.

Game Two
Much like the opening game Saturday, the Chargers wasted no time putting runs on the board. Kyle Pettoruto drove in both of the Chargers runs in the bottom of the first off a double down the left field line which drove in O’Connell and Rombilus.

The Falcons quickly evened the score at 2-2 with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning off four hits. After retiring the side in the bottom of the second, Bentley looked to take the lead with a lead-off walk and a single in the top of the third. The Falcons fell short, however, hitting into a double play and leaving one runner on base.

The Chargers mustered one hit in the fourth, while the Falcons added one in the fifth, but neither team scored until the Chargers added one in the bottom of the fifth. Tom Ballaro opened the inning with a single through the left side, while Heary followed with a fielder’s choice. After Heary stole second, Rombilus drove in his fourth run of the day and gave the Chargers a 3-2 lead heading into the sixth.

Alex Smith, who started the game pitching for the Chargers, helped retire the side in the sixth. Two walks and a balk in the bottom of the sixth put Kyle Donnelly at the plate with runners on second and third base. The senior hit a ground out to second and drove in a run for New Haven’s fourth run of the day.

It was much of the same for UNH through the final innings as well. The Charger offense added a pair of runs on three hits in the seventh, bring the final score to 6-2.

Smith pitched seven full innings for the Chargers. He recorded his sixth win of the season and college three strikeouts. Taylor Candage pitched one inning in relief, while closer Mitch Rossi sealed the win in the top of the ninth.

Brockett added another two hits, one run and one RBI for UNH in the nightcap. Pettoruto went 3-for-4 with three RBI’s, while Rombilus went 1-for-3 with a run and a RBI.