STRONG PITCHING, TIMELY HITTING HELP MINERS PULL AWAY FROM SHIKOKU INDEPENDENTS
June 14, Augusta, NJ – The Sussex County Miners (16-8) won their first game of the three-game series against the Shikoku Island Independents (0-1) by a score of 5-1 at Skylands Stadium on Friday night. The Miners were able to pull ahead in the fifth inning with what turn out to be too big of lead for Shikoku Island to come back from, ultimately leading to the Miners win on Sussex County Night.
In a wild turn of events the Miners were able to get their first run in the bottom of the first inning. Mikey Reynolds hit the ball down center field giving him a base run, however, he was able to steal second base. Jarred Mederos walked, setting up runners at first and second base. Then a passed ball was not found in time, and Reynolds was able to make to home plate just in time, giving the Miners their first score of the game.
The Miners picked things up again in the third inning as Trey Hair smacked a run-scoring single, scoring Reynolds to make it 2-0 Miners. But in the top of the fourth, Shikoku Island was able to pick up a run. After Katsuya Sendo stole second and Yuka Taki knocked a base hit to right field, scoring Sendo and making the score 2-1 Miners.
The Miners Increased their lead in the bottom of the fifth. After a Mederos single, Trey Hair hit a fly ball to the right side that dropped in, putting him on second and scoring Mederos to increase the Miners lead to 3-1. Next to bat was Audy Ciriaco, who hit his second home run of the season bringing him and Hair in to make the score 5-1 Sussex County.
This was more than enough for Jeff Thompson (4-0), as the Miners righty went seven strong innings for the Miners. He allowed just one run on seven hits, while walking just one batter and striking out six on the night. Kevin Grendell came on to pitch a scoreless eighth, and Jose Jose mopped up a bases loaded situation by getting the final out in the ninth to earn his third save of the year.
The Miners will face Shikoku Island again for their second game of the three-game series this Saturday, June 15th at Skylands Stadium, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05pm.
Article: Nicole Mitchell and Bret Leuthner