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Miners Walk Off Against Shikoku Island



Augusta, NJ – For the second straight game, the Sussex County Miners came from behind to defeat the Shikoku Island All-StarsSteve Nyisztor drove in 2 runs—including the game winner in the bottom of the 9th on a sacrifice fly—and Francisco Rodriguez and Nick Gonzalez combined to hold Shikoku Island to three runs in the 4-3 walk-off win. On Family Fun Sunday, 2,671 fans at Skylands Stadium were treated to another thrilling finish.

Both teams had opportunities, but both teams’ pitchers were up to the task to get out of jams. Shungo Fukunaga pitched 6 innings, allowing 4 hits and 2 unearned runs. Fukunaga did walk 4, but worked out of those situations thanks in part to striking out 6 Miners. Nearly matching Fukunaga was Rodriguez, who went 6 innings himself, allowing 3 runs on 8 hits. Rodriguez walked 2 and struck out 1 and worked out of situations by getting Shikoku Island to hit to his defense behind him.

The Miners (12-11) once again played from behind, never holding the lead until the final swing of the bat. Down 3-2 in the 7th, Jay Austin’s sacrifice fly plated Dominique Taylor, who went 2-for-5 in the game. Chris Jacobs was the only other Miner with multiple hits going 2-for-3 with a pair of walks.

Nick Gonzalez pitched 3 innings out of the bullpen, only allowing an 8th-inning leadoff walk to Yuki Tarui. Otherwise, Gonzalez (2-1) deftly worked through the Shikoku Island lineup in picking up the win.

The Miners started the bottom of the 9th against Kohei Maso (0-1) with a one-out double from Ryan Dent. Austin followed with a single to put runners on the corners. Jacobs then walked for the second time, setting up Nyisztor. Nyisztor hit a 1-0 pitch into center field, and Yusuke Matsuzawa’s throw went up the first base line, scoring Dent and starting the on-field celebration once again for the Miners.

After the game, both teams tipped their caps and bowed to each other, lined up and shook hands, and then posed for a group picture to commemorate the 4-game International Series.

> Box Score

After dropping the first two games of the Can-Am League‘s International Series, the Miners came back to win the final two in dramatic fashion. Sussex County is now 12-11 on the season and in fourth place.

The Miners have the day off tomorrow before embarking on a six-game road trip. Sussex County travels to Rockland for a four-game series against the Boulders, with the resumption of the suspended game from May 21st to kick off Tuesday night. The Miners then head up to Canada on Friday to play the Québec Capitales for the first time this season.

All of the Miners road games can be heard live on the Miners Radio Network.

Recap by Bret Leuthner. Photo by Gordon Forsyth.