On a cold and crisp Tuesday afternoon, the Dukes put together timely hitting with great pitching on their way to a 9-1 victory over Monroe College. On the hill, Justin Smith befuddled Monroe hitters all day, striking out a season-high ten Mustang batters. Smith sprinkled just four hits over the course of 6 and 1/3, surrending just one unearned run. Relievers Chris Caprio and Matt Colon teamed up to complete the nine innings, with Caprio pitching 1 and 2/3 and Colon closed out the ninth to secure the win.
At the dish, it was freshman third baseman John Schoelkopf and sophomore first baseman Jake Carr leading the way. Carr launched a first inning two-run homerun over the right field wall to start the scoring for the Dukes. After a sacrifice fly from Schoelkopf that scored Robert Bunton from third, it was the third baseman delivering for the home team again in the fourth with a three-run triple to bust the game open.
Carr finished the afternoon a perfect 3 for 3, scoring three times and adding two runs-batted-in on that first-inning two-run blast. Shoelkopf hit 3 for 4, crossing the plate twice and driving in four runs. Winning pitcher Justin Smith improved to 3-0 overall and lowered his season ERA to an impressive 1.56. Sophomore Omar Prieto reached base three times, scoring twice and Designated-Hitter Jared Corniell chipped in with two hits and two RBIs.
The Dukes will be back on the diamond again Wednesday when they host the #7th ranked team in the nation, Brookdale Community College. The visiting Jersey Blues will be looking for some revenge as the Dukes delivered the final knockout blow to their 2014 season, eliminating Brookdale from the Region 19 Playoffs a year ago. The two line-ups will square off at 3:30 PM.