WIN OPENER AGAINST ROCKLAND, NIGHTCAP SUSPENDED
May 19, Augusta, NJ – The Sussex County Miners (3-0) continued their strong start to the 2019 Can-Am League season by defeating the Rockland Boulders 9-1 in the opening game of Sunday’s doubleheader at Skylands Stadium. The 2nd game was tied 5-5 in the bottom of the 7th inning before heavy rains forced that game to be suspended.
The opener on Sunday was initially the home opener for the defending champs, with a ring ceremony and banner unveiling prior to the game. But, after an Audy Ciriaco RBI single made it 1-0 for the home side, rains would come to spoil the party on Friday night.
When play resumed on Sunday, the Boulders would pull even at 1 when Jordan Hinshaw would score on an RBI single by John Brontsema. But the Miners would plate 2 runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning without the benefit of a hit, as 5 walks and a fielder’s choice would lead to the runs being scores and putting Sussex County up 3-1. The lead would then expand to 5-1 in the 4th inning when Angel Reyes hit a long home run off of the netting in front of the video board in left-center field.
All told, 4 Miners pitchers would come on and not be charged with a run allowed in the final 7 2/3 innings pitched. Scott Kuzminsky (1-0) would get the win for the Miners after tossing 3 2/3 innings in relief of Friday night starter Frank Duncan.
Right-hander David Palladino would get the ball to start on the mound in game 2. Palladino would workout of a few jams in the first and second striking out 3 batters as well as being aided with an Reyes spectacular diving play in right field.
Getting the start on the mound for the Boulders was right-hander Justin Valdespina. The Miners would strike first in the bottom of the second. Reyes would double to score both Jose Brizuela and Dixon to put the Miners on top 2-0.
The Boulders would strike back and tie the game on a single by Colin Ferguson – scoring Matt Oberste – followed by an error that would also score Ryne Birk. Then later in the top of the fifth, with the score still tied at 2 apiece, Cito Culver would start the rally with an RBI single followed by a 2 RBI single by Brontsema that would put the Boulders on top 5-2.
The score would remain 5-2 until the Miners rallied in the bottom of the sixth. The rally would start when Dixon was hit by a pitch. That would then be followed by a passed ball allowing Dixon to get to second base. Up net was Reyes, and he would get grazed by a pitch to put him on first base. Jarred Mederos would follow by knocking in Dixon with an RBI single. That brought up the fan favorite Ciriaco, and his RBI single would bring home Reyes and bring the Miners to within a run at 5-4. DK Carey would cap the rally with a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring pinch runner Nick Shumpert to tie the game at 5. .
The game would remain tied into the bottom of the seventh. With one runner on and 1 out the rain fell, forcing the field to be tarped. There would be a about a 45 minute rain delay before it was announced that they were officially suspending the game at 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh and 1 out.
The conclusion of this 7-inning game will be made up on June 21st at 6:05 pm, preceding the regularly scheduled game between the Miners and Boulders at Skylands Stadium.
Net up for the Miners is a rematch of their 5-game 2018 semifinal series against the Trois-Rivieres Aigles. Wednesday’s games are part of a day-night doubleheader, with game 1 starting at 10:35 am and game 2 starting at 7:05 pm.