SUSSEX COUNTY MINERS ADVANCE TO CAN-AM LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES; ANNOUNCE GAME 1 STARTER
Edging the Trois-Rivieres Aigles in the League Semifinals 3 Games to 2, the Miners Start Digging for Championship Gold Tonight with Kenny Koplove Starting Game 1 vs. the Quebec Capitales
The Miners’ First Championship Series Home Game is Friday, September 14 Starting at 7:05 PM
Augusta, NJ – Keep digging… Keep digging… This simple mantra has both fueled the Sussex County Miners‘ historic regular season while catapulting them to the Can-Am League Championship Series against the Quebec Capitales. With the stage set north of the border, tonight the best-of-5 title series begins as manager Bobby Jones sends Kenny Koplove to the hill to start Game 1 at Stade Canac.
Looking at the tale of the tape, Quebec won the regular season series vs. Sussex County with a 10-7 record. Ironically, the Miners handily won the series at home with a 7-3 record. However, Quebec swept the Miners up north, going 7-0. Curiously, both teams’ statistics against each other are similar to one another. During the regular season, the Miners hit .264 with 75 runs, 28 stolen bases and a 4.02 ERA. The Capitales hit .274 with 79 runs scored, 17 stolen bases and a 3.78 ERA. If these similarities aren’t enough, Sussex County and Quebec ruled their houses with dominant home records of 41-13 (.759 pct) and 36-18 (.667 pct), respectively.
The Miners advanced to the championship series by edging the #4 seeded Trois Rivieres Aigles 3 games to 2 at home on Sunday. All-Star Audy Ciriaco‘s stellar play has continued in the postseason as evidenced by his .524 batting average (11-21) in the semifinals. Stingy starting pitching has also been a major factor with workhorse Cory Jones throwing a 156 pitch 5-1 complete game victory in Game 1 and then on just three days rest, he authored a gutsy 8.2 inning 155 pitch, 9 strikeout outing to lead the Miners to a 3-2 victory. Koplove logged the save by pitching 0.1 innings in Game 5 on top of throwing a 2-0 shutout victory in Game 2.
Quebec was the league’s hottest team at the end of the season, finishing 58-44 (.569). For the third season in a row, the Capitales faced the Rockland Boulders during the playoffs; after losing the Boulders in the 2016 semifinals and winning the 2017 championship title. Quebec advanced the Championship Series by taking the series 3-1. Outfielder Nick Van Stratten led the Capitales offense in the semifinals by hitting .467 (7-15) with 3 RBI and 3 R. In addition, Lazarao Blanco authored seven scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts to lead Quebec to victory in Game 3.
The rest of championship series schedule is as follows. Tomorrow Game 2 will take place in Quebec at 7:05 PM. The Miners’ will then return home to host the remainder of the Championship Series at Skylands Stadium. This Friday, Game 3 will take place at 7:05 PM. The first 500 fans in attendance will receive a Miners rally towel. If necessary, Games 4 and 5 will start at 6:05 PM and 2:05 PM, respectively. All of the games can be watched for free at www.canamleague.tv and listened to on mixlr.com/scminers.com. Tickets can be purchased by going to bit.ly/MinersPlayoffs or calling (973) 383-7644.
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