CLUTCH HITS CAP OFF EXCITING FINISH
August 1, Augusta, NJ – All season long, the Miners have utilized the “next man up” mentality. That was in full display Wednesday night, as they used three late runs to crawl out of a deficit and defeat the Trois-Rivières Aigles, 6-5, at Skylands Stadium.
Both teams had their offenses working early, as the Miners scratched two runs across in the first two innings and Trois-Rivières’ Michael Suchy sent a bomb off the scoreboard in left field, leaving the Miners with a 2-1 lead after two innings. The Aigles had plenty of scoring opportunities in the innings to follow, but Andrew Vinson was able to escape time and time again, holding the Aigles to one run through five innings.
In the sixth, Vinson exited the game with two outs in favor of Martire Garcia. Garcia walked the only three batters he faced, and a single off the bat off of Kevin Cornelius against Kevin Grendell put the Aigles ahead 4-2.
The Miners got one back in the seventh when Audy Ciriaco sent a fastball back up the middle to bring in Breland Almadova. However, Danny Mateo was gunned down at third, ending the Sussex County rally.
In the eighth, the Miners looked quickly down and out after Jayce Ray and Connor Crane made quick outs. When Jarred Mederos fouled a ball off his face, ice cold Nick Zaharion was forced to pinch-hit with two strikes. Instead of sitting back and working a walk, however, he ripped a double into right-center field, and promptly came around to score when catcher Christian Correa singled over the head of David Glaude.
Heading to the ninth with a 5-4 lead, the Miners sent out closer Alex Demchak to record the final three outs. The Aigles made things difficult, however – going with the theme of the entire game, they scratched a game-tying run across, thanks to a couple bloop hits and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Sam Dexter.
Tied at 5, the Miners looked to win the game with a pitcher spot due up fifth. Audy Ciriaco singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, and moved to third on a Jayce Ray fielder’s choice. Connor Crane was intentionally walked, leaving the game in the hands of the pitcher spot.
Kenny Koplove (pictured) came in to hit and made sure he had the final say.
A first-pitch fastball was sent down the first base line, bringing in Audy Ciriaco and sending the entire stadium into pandemonium.
With the win, the Miners win their thirteenth straight game at Skylands Stadium. That’s a streak they will look to continue on Thursday, when they host a day-night doubleheader against the Aigles.
Article: Will Fowler
Photo: Sara Schaarschmidt