03 Jul JACKALS BLITZ MINERS 10-2
The New Jersey Jackals welcomed their in-state foe, and league rival the Sussex County Miners to Hinchliffe Stadium for the second time this season on Monday night.
After a quick top of the first with Vin Mazzaro on the mound, the Jackals’ bats quickly heated above the temperature of the hot summer evening taking an early 2-0 lead. Strategic batting by the top of the lineup allowed James Nelson and Keon Barnum to score.
A home run off Oraj Anu’s bat allowed the Miners to get on the board in a quick response to New Jersey’s efforts.
The score remained at 2-1 for a good portion of the game as both teams failed to get any of their runners home.
Ultimately, it was Griffin Baker that kept the Jackals from scoring until the bottom of the sixth, when Rusber Estrada singled to left, scoring Phillip Ervin. With Alfredo Marte up at the plate and runners still occupying the base paths, it took one pitch for the veteran Jackal to go yard with a three-run home run. The offensive onslaught of the sixth continued, as New Jersey continued to tack on runs. In total, the Jackals scored seven runs on six hits–including a two-run home run by Barnum to build an insurmountable 9-1 lead over Sussex County.
Entering the seventh, Yuichi Shiota relieved Mazzaro who finished six innings by only giving up two hits and striking out six Miners.
Matt Stil entered for Sussex County, but New Jersey was unphased by the pitching change: Estrada muscled a shot that was destined for the Paterson Great Falls that pushed the Jackals into the double digits, 10-1.
Throughout the game, the Jackals were formidable defensively as they silenced any of their opposition’s efforts.
After the top of the second, the Miners were unable to put up any runs; however, Gavin Stupienski homered with Cody Whitten on the mound, but Sussex County’s last efforts were not enough as it could not take over the den that was defended so heavily by New Jersey, 10-2 the final.
With the win, the Jackals return to the top of the Frontier League with just a week before the All-Star break and will take on the Miners at Skylands Stadium tomorrow to celebrate the Independence Day holiday. The series will shift back to Hinchliffe on Wednesday.
Reporting by: Amanda Vogt
Photo Credit: Zack Smolen