Millersville tops Central Missouri
Trio of pitchers toss shutout as Marauders avoid elimination
Mike McMonagle has been on a roll lately. The junior pitcher for 10th-ranked Millersville entered Monday afternoon’s showdown against No. 4 Central Missouri having won in his last six starts.
You can make it a win in seven consecutive starts now after McMonagle gave up no runs on two hits in 6 1/3 innings of action as he guided the Marauders to a 1-0 victory against the Mules in an elimination game at the NCAA Division II finals at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.
McMonagle, who has battled injuries during his career, struck out five and walked five, and while he didn’t have his breakout performance of the year, he was good enough to help lead the Marauders to their 10th shutout win of the season.
“He didn’t have his best stuff, but he made the right pitches when he had to,” Millersville head coach Jon Shehan said. “He’s faced a lot of adversity and his performance today showed what kind of heart he has. He has developed toughness from that adversity.”
Zach Stone drove in the only run the Marauders would need on this day. He hit a single down the left-field line in the first inning and pushed Derek Kline across the plate as Millersville jumped on top 1-0.
“You never know how many runs you are going to get in a game, and Zach was able to come up with a big hit. You would think we would have scored more runs with the number of hits we had but we did enough to win the game.”
Millersville (44-11) finished with nine hits, including three by Mike August, and Stone and Kline came through with two hits apiece against the Mules (49-10).
Central Missouri managed only three hits and was the first team to be knocked out of the tournament. Kyle Schuyler took the loss, giving up one run on seven hits and striking out five in six innings of work.
“I thought we got outstanding pitching today,” Central Missouri head coach Tom Myers said. “I think it was best said by one of our seniors at the end of the game that it was just a bad time to not play very well for two games. I don’t think we showed what we were capable of. At the same time, you have to give credit to the other teams for putting us into that position.”
Millersville was pushed to the brink of elimination after a 3-1 loss to No. 2 Mount Olive in the opening round. But Shehan said his team refused to hang its head after the setback. Now, the Marauders will live to play another day.
“We are where we are right now because we have mentally tough kids,” Shehan said. “We have lost only two consecutive games once this season and it shows how resilient we are as a team. We just have to focus on one pitch at a time and keep playing the way we have all season.”