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Miners Sweep Boulders



July 18, Augusta, NJ – The Sussex County Miners (37-19) earned a doubleheader sweep of the Rockland Boulders, winning the first game 4-0 before walking off the Boulders in the nightcap 4-3 in 9 innings on Wednesday night at Skylands Stadium.

The game was dominated by Miners starter Andrew Vinson, who threw a complete game one-hitter over seven innings with 100 pitches. Vinson threw for three walks and four strikeouts against 26 batters faced.

Boulders starter David Palladino threw five innings allowing four runs on six hits with four walks and five strikeouts. All four runs he allowed came in the 4th inning, when the Miners Jayce Ray cracked the scoreboard, scoring Audy Ciriaco to take a 1-0 lead. Later in the inning as Connor Crane stole second base, Jayce Ray came into score as the double steal was on to make it 2-0. The ball went into the outfield on the throw and Crane moved to third. On the very next play, Crane came into score off the bat of Jarred Mederos, as the sacrifice fly to center field increased the lead to 3-0. With the bases loaded, Christian Correa would come into score on a wild pitch and make the lead 4-0.

That would be all the runs Sussex County would need in this game, as Andrew Vinson didn’t allow a single hit until the 6th inning and no runs during his outing.

Things got even more exciting in the nightcap as Breland Almadova walked it off in the bottom of the ninth inning with a hard single off of Nick Kennedy to complete the Sussex County Miners’ (37-19) doubleheader sweep against the Rockland Boulders. With the sweep, the Miners have won five in a row against Rockland and extended their lead in the Can-Am League standings over Quebec to two and a half games.

As was true in game one, neither team was able to get things going until the bottom of the fourth inning. After a pair of hits by Mikey Reynolds and Jayce Ray, the Miners sent Luis Alen to the plate, who delivered a sac fly to left to put his team on the board, giving them a 1-0 lead.

Sussex County got into the Rockland bullpen early and took advantage in the bottom of the fifth. After back-to-back strikeouts, Martin Figueroa walked and was followed by a RBI double by Danny Mateo to double the lead. Reynolds then smashed his second hit of the ballgame to score Mateo and make it a 3-0 affair.

The Boulders made things interesting in the top of the sixth inning as Conrad Gregor blasted his sixth home run of the season over the right field fence with a runner on to close the gap to 3-2.

In the top of the seventh, Mikael Mogues walked to set up a game tieing RBI single by centerfielder Mike Montville to send the game to the bottom of the seventh with a 3-3 score.

After a scare in the top of the ninth, the Miners came to bat in their half of the frame. Jarred Mederos began the inning on second base with the international tie-breaker rule in effect and Almadova at the plate. The Miners’ speedy outfielder missed two bunt attempts before a wild pitch sent Mederos over to third. In response, the Boulders sent their leftfielder Gregor in to loadup their infield with five men; three on the left side. The defensive trickery was to no avail as Almadova laced a single to the right side to send Mederos home and win the ballgame 4-3.

Kevin Grendell (3-1) notched the victory by pitching a scoreless ninth inning while issuing a pair of walks and punching out two. Nick Kennedy (4-4) took the loss after allowing the walk-off hit and recording zero outs.

The Miners will head down route 80 to play their in-state rival New Jersey Jackals at Yogi Berra Stadium for another edition of The Battle of New Jersey Thursday night at 7:05pm.

Article: Nicholas Lehman and Zachary Smolen

Photo: Sara Schaarschmidt/Sussex County Miners