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Monday, October 8, 2018

Mike Mongiello, Like This - 12

Originally published April 2, 2017
Mike Mongiello came on in relief for his Nashville Sounds in this May 1993 game and he picked up the win, according to The Nashville Tennessean.

He did so by going three innings without giving up a run, The Tennessean wrote.

"Games like this you take one out at a time," Mongiello told The Tennessean afterward. "You know that if you make a mistake, it can kill you."

Mongiello avoided enough mistakes in his seven-season career to make AAA. But, however perfectly he pitched, he never made the majors.

Mongiello's career began in 1989, taken by the White Sox in the seventh round of the draft out of Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey.

At Fairleigh Dickinson, Mongiello amassed 16 wins and 204 strikeouts over his three seasons. He won the school's Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year award his sophomore campaign and was inducted into the Fairleigh Dickinson Hall of Fame in 2001.

He started with the White Sox in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He had a 3.58 ERA over eight outings.

He then moved to single-A South Bend for 1990. In 38 games, 15 starts, he turned in a 3.30 ERA, 6 wins and 13 saves.

Mongiello picked up another 23 saves and a 2.25 ERA in 1991. He also made the league all-star team. He then made AA Birmingham in 1992, saving eight.

At AAA Nashville in 1993, Mongiello got into 39 games, starting nine. He went 6-4, with seven saves. He threw a six-hitter in a July win against Buffalo.

He picked up a loss in an August game against Iowa, giving up a ninth-inning home run to Iowa's Eddie Zambrano, according to The Des Moines Register.

"I wasn't compact. It was a bad pitch," Mongiello told The Register afterward. "I've been working on my slider, making it almost a hard curveball. It stayed up and (Zambrano) hit it. He's the wrong guy to throw a bad pitch to. You don't throw a pitch like that to a guy with 29 home runs."

Mongiello returned to Nashville for 1994 and 1995. He split 1995 between 31 games at Nashville and eight at Birmingham. He went  6-4 overall that year, with a 4.33 ERA, ending his career.

In 2000, Mongiello was back in New Jersey, offering a baseball clinic for local youth.

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