TEAM IMPROVES TO FRANCHISE-BEST RECORD TO START SEASON
May 24, Augusta, NJ – The Sussex County Miners (6-1) showed their comeback spirit at Skylands Stadium on Friday night, regaining a lead after having surrendered their own lead earlier en route to defeating the Ottawa Champions (3-4) by a score of 9-7. With the win, the Miners improved to 6-1 on the season, the best start to a season in the Miners 5-year history.
The Miners were able to strike first early in the bottom of the first after Angel Reyes led off the bottom of the first with a double and would score on a Jose Brizuela RBI single. They continued their offensive output in the second when Reyes doubled home DK Carey to expand the lead to 2-0, Jarred Mederos then was able to plate a run on a fielder’s choice, and Trey Hair singled one batter later to extend the lead to 4-0. The third was the same for the Miners, a shutdown inning from starter David Palladino followed by a run courtesy of a Nick Zaharion RBI single that increased the Sussex County advantage to 5-0.
The Champions were able to strike back with a 7-run fourth, however. A mix of walks and hits turned the tide against the home side. Brian Portelli had a two run single to pull Ottawa to within a run in the inning, and Jordan Caillouet singled to tie the game at 5. Eduard Pinto‘s 2-run double would put Ottawa in front for the first time at 7-5.
But then Trey Hair got a hold of an Austin Chrismon pitch an sent it deep over the wall in right field for his first home run of the season and cut the margin to 7-6. Audy Ciriaco followed with a single, and Brizuela then tripled for his third hit of the night to score Ciriaco and tie the game. Andy Paz followed with a double, which gave the Miners the lead again, 8-7.
After this, the Miners bullpen was able to shut the door on Ottawa. The final 4 innings saw Andrew Gist, James Campbell, and Jose Jose combined to allow just 2 Ottawa hits and no runs in nailing down the game. In the bottom of the eighth, Mederos scored on a wild pitch to give the Miners their final 9-7 scoreline.
Gist (1-0) picked up the win for Sussex County, while Chrismon (0-1) was saddled with his first loss of the season. Jose went 6 up, 6 down to get the save for the Miners, his first of the season.
The Miners and Champions will resume their 4-game series tomorrow night at 6:05 pm, with special Memorial Day Weekend events planned all night long. Gates will open at 4:30 om, and festivities will include a BBQ and Beerfest, a magnetic schedule giveaway to the first 500 fans, a jersey auction, and post-game fireworks.