Fabra, Jacques Combine on Shutout in 2-0 Baseball Win
Fabra ran into early trouble, allowing a ground-rule double and a bunt single to the first two batters he faced. He settled in to get a pop up out of the third place hitter Jake Gronsky before striking out cleanup man Craig Sweeney. Fabra got out of the jam by inducing another pop up by Danny Avella.
Monmouth threatened again in the third inning on a two-out rally. After two singles, Sweeney ripped one that appeared headed for center field but second baseman Joe McClennan made a diving stop to glove it and keep it in the infield, keeping the lead runner at third base. Fabra again worked out of trouble, getting Avella on a fly ball to left field as the game remained scoreless heading into the sixth inning.
The Jaspers cobbled together a two-out rally in the sixth to plate the game's first run. Jason Patnick laced a single the other way to get aboard in front of Christian Santisteban. The Jaspers' cleanup batter pulled a 1-1 pitch down the right field line and into the corner. Patnick hustled around third and slid in just ahead of the relay throw from the second baseman, putting Manhattan ahead 1-0.
After Fabra hung up another zero in the top of the seventh, Evan Brown drilled his first collegiate home run over the right field wall, a solo shot, to lead off the bottom of half of the seventh.
Monmouth got the leadoff man on in the eighth, breaking a string of 13 straight batters retired by Fabra, but that leadoff man was erased when Brendan Slattery started a 3-6 double play to end the eighth.
Fabra worked eight scoreless innings, paving the way for Joe Jacques to pitch the ninth. Jacques allowed a one-out single to Sweeney but got the next two batters on lazy fly balls to nail down his first collegiate save and hand the series victory to the Jaspers, who improve to 4-8 in the conference.
"In conference, if you win a few series in a row, you're right back in it," head coach Jim Duffy said after the game. "For us, we're too young to get ahead of ourselves. We have to do it one day at a time and keep getting better, but if you keep winning series, you'll be hanging around at the end."
Fabra allowed just five base hits, and nothing after the third inning, in eight innings of work. He did not walk a batter and struck out three for his second win of the season.
Monmouth starter Chris McKenna was touched for two runs on six hits in six-plus innings. He also did not walk anyone and fanned six batters.
The Jaspers are back in action on Tuesday, April 15 at NJIT for a 7 p.m. contest in Newark, N.J.
The shutout was the third of the season for the Jaspers' pitching staff ... the Manhattan staff kept Monmouth scoreless in 22 of 27 innings during the three-game series ... Chris Kalousdian was 5-for-12 during the series ... Joe McClennan, who hit safely in all three games, singled in the fifth after a 10-pitch at-bat to start the inning ... the matchup was the first between the two schools as MAAC opponents.