TOP SEEDED MINERS HOST GAME THREE ON FRIDAY NIGHT
September 5, Augusta, NJ – There are baseball seasons, and then there is the Sussex County Miners’ 2018 campaign. The Miners didn’t just capture first place and the #1 seed for the Can-Am League Playoffs, they have rewritten league and team history. Plus the team received numerous accolades while two players were picked up by Major League Baseball organizations. With the regular season in the rear view mirror, the club looks back on its remarkable accomplishments while announcing Cory Jones as the Game 1 starter in the Can-Am League Semifinals vs. the Trois-Rivieres Aigles.
Recently named the Can-Am League Manager of the Year, Bobby Jones has named Cory Jones to start Game 1 of the Can-Am League Semifinals. The starters for Games 2 and 3 are TBA. Jones was a reliable workhorse for the Miners. During the regular season led the club with 11 wins and two complete games which also tied for second in the league and ranked third, respectively. Additionally, Jones won his only start against the Aigles on August 18th by throwing 6.2 innings and yielding one earned run on eight hits while walking three and striking out four.
Under Jones’ guidance, the Miners rose from the ashes of a 45-54 fourth place finish in 2017 to a 63-38 first place finish, marking an incredible team best 17 game improvement. Ironically the Sussex Skyhawks hold the record for largest season improvement with a 17.5 game turnaround. In addition, the Miners had four players named to the Can-Am League All-Star Team including catcher Luis Alen, first baseman Audy Ciriaco, second baseman Mikey Reynolds and closer Alex Demchak. Speaking of Demchak, the Boston Red Sox purchased his contract and assigned him to the Lowell Spinners (New York-Penn League, Short Season Single-A) and starting pitcher David Rollins’ contract was purchased by the Seattle Mariners which assigned him to the Tacoma Rainiers (Pacific Coast League, Triple-A).
Built on speed, pitching and contact hitting, the results speak for themselves. The Miners’ new Can-Am League Record 239 stolen bases leads all of professional baseball including the Major Leagues (Cleveland Indians – 112), and both independent (Lancaster Barnstormers, Atlantic League – 226) and affiliated (Lansing Lugnuts, Toronto Blue Jays, Single-A Midwest League – 203) Minor League Baseball. Plus outfielder Breland Almadova swiped the Can-Am League single-season record with 51 thefts. The Miners also set new Can-Am League records for most home wins and winning percentage (41 wins, .759 pct) as well as sacrifice flies (58). Plus starting pitcher Andrew Vinson tied circuit’s most shutouts in a season record with three.
Along with aforementioned records for stolen bases, home wins and winning percentage, the Miners also rewrote team history with several new individual achievements. Mikey Reynolds set new club records for doubles (28) and runs scored (78) while Martin Figueroa logged a club best .444 on base percentage. Starting pitcher Cory Jones won a club best 11 games while David Rollins posted a 2.23 ERA, the lowest in team history.
With the record setting regular season behind them, the Miners now set their sights on the Can-Am League Semifinal series against the Trois-Rivieres Aigles. Game 1 of the best-of-5 series is tonight at 7:05 pm, with Game 2 scheduled for Thursday, September 6, also at 7:05 pm. The scene shifts back to Skylands Stadium for Game 3 on Friday, September 7th for another 7:05 pm start. Games 4 and 5 will also be at Skylands Stadium, if necessary.
Article: Steven Solomon