BREAK THEIR OWN STOLEN BASE RECORD IN FOUR-RUN SEVENTH
July 26, Augusta, NJ – It was a record breaking day at Skylands Stadium, as the Sussex County Miners (44-20) not only defeated the Quebec Capitales (37-28) by a score of 5-1, but also stole their 164th base as a team – a new single-season Can-Am League record.
Kenny Koplove was assigned with the tall task of opposing Jay Johnson on the mound for the Miners, and he found himself in trouble early. A leadoff single by Nick Van Stratten in the first had the Capitales threatening to score, but a Zach Wilson fielder’s choice ended the threat.
Offensively, the Miners’ struggles against Jay Johnson continued. Johnson, who had thrown twelve scoreless innings over two starts against the Miners this season, was doing more of the same on Thursday – he held the Miners scoreless through the first four innings while allowing just one hit, extending his streak to sixteen innings.
In the fifth, it was the Capitales who struck first. A Koplove error allowed Phildrick Llewellyn to reach second, and he later came around to score on a sacrifice fly.
The lead didn’t last long, however – Martin Figueroa doubled with two outs and later came around to score on a Danny Mateo base hit, evening the score at one.
After Koplove was surprisingly pulled after the fifth due to an injury, Martire Garcia toed the rubber to keep the Quebec offense at bay. His outing didn’t last too long either, though; after Maxx Tissenbaum hit a missile right at Garcia’s hands, he was removed from the game for Kevin Grendell.
The scoreline remained the same until the seventh, and it was in that inning that the Miners broke through in more than one way. Breland Almadova led off the inning with a walk and later moved to third on a Martin Figueroa single. Finally, on an off-speed pitch to Danny Mateo, Martin Figueroa stole second base – giving the Miners sole possession of the single-season stolen base record. On the throw, Almadova stole home, not only giving the Miners the record but also giving the Miners the lead.
Jayce Ray later capped off the half-inning when he sent a line drive rocket over the right field wall for a two-run home run. After that, it was the Kevin Grendell show. He went on to throw another two scoreless innings, earning him Miner of the Game honors and locking down a much needed win over Quebec.
After taking game one of a four-game set, the Miners host the Capitales again tomorrow night. First pitch is lined up for 7:05 pm.
Article: Will Fowler
Photo: Sara Schaarschmidt/Sussex County Miners