PACIFICA — Two years ago, St. Ignatius pitcher Collin Monsour closed out the final leg of the Bruce-Mahoney series with a seventh-inning save as a sophomore.
This year, as the Wildcats’ ace, the senior barely broke a sweat.
Monsour threw a complete-game shutout in a 3-0 St. Ignatius win over rival Sacred Heart Cathedral in West Catholic Athletic League play on Thursday at Fairmont Park.
The Cal-bound right-hander allowed four hits, struck out eight and walked none on just 89 pitches.
“He’s skilled and very efficient,” St. Ignatius coach Matthew Stecher said. “Even more than his talent, he has a great head and doesn’t get flustered. No matter what the situation is, he’s calm and pitches with confidence.”
The St. Ignatius bats didn’t come out in force, but the Wildcats (11-4-1, 5-1-1) scored a run on a sacrifice fly from second baseman Matt Debenedetti in the second inning and got some much-needed breathing room in the fifth.
After a leadoff single from senior right fielder Nick Johnson, junior Matt Krook launched a deep fly ball to left for an RBI triple, and three batters later, catcher Charlie Goldensohn lined a double down the left-field line to drive Krook in.
The final two runs chased Sacred Heart starter Mike Wallace out of the game, but the junior right-hander had kept pace with Monsour until that point.
Wallace threw considerably more pitches than Monsour, however, and was at 100 throws when he was removed with two outs in the fifth.
Wallace consistently hit the outside corner with his fastball and struck out seven SI batters.
“If you can throw that pitch at that location, the best you can do is maybe hit the ball up the middle or the other way, and most high school hitters can’t do it,” Sacred Heart coach Brian Morgan said. “There was no mystery. We knew what Monsour was going to do and they probably knew what Wallace was going to do. They just kept hammering it out there.”
The Irish’s bugaboo continues to be at the plate and they have scored 11 runs in six league games. First baseman Manny Serrano was the only Irish player to record more than one hit, with two singles, and Sacred Heart (9-5, 1-5) only advanced four players into scoring position.
The Wildcats have been having struggles of their own offensively and stranded nine batters on Thursday.