15 Jun Miners Come Win In HR Derby
Hair In The 8th, Pineda, Ciriaco Propel Miners to First Win In New Tiebreaker
June 12, Augusta, NJ – Falling behind 3-0 early to the visiting Tri-City ValleyCats (3-11) on Retro Night, the Sussex County Miners (12-2) climbed back into the contest to eventually tie things up in the eighth, and would then outslug their visitors 5-0 in the new Frontier League Home Run Derby tiebreaker and go on to win the game. The score was officially recorded as a 4-4 contest, with the Miners taking the standings win via the Home Run Derby.
After grabbing a 2-0 lead on a two-run single by Daniel Angulo, the ValleyCats would extend their lead to 3-0 with some excitement, as Avery Tuck would hit a fly ball off the right field wall, with the carom bouncing far enough away from the Miners defense to allow Tuck to hit an inside the park home run.
The Miners, dressed in their Skylands Cardinals jerseys, would get a pair of runs back in the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Aaron Knapp and a double by Audy Ciriaco. A Denis Phipps single would make it 4-2 in the fifth, but the Miners would continue their rally. Martin Figueroa would hit a bases loaded single to pull the Miners to within one run at 4-3, and then level terms in the eighth when Trey Hair would hit a estimated 403 foot home run down the right field line. Hair’s sixth dinger of the season woould tie the score 4-4.
Each team would have chances from there on through the tenth inning, but neither side would score, setting the stage for the first Frontier League HR Derby at Skylands Stadium. In the AABC season of 2020, a similar tiebreaker was used, with Jason Pineda being the go-to guy for Bobby Jones. And again in 2021, he didn’t disappoint. Afte Tri-City went homerless with their first batter, Pineda launched two over the wall to make it 2-0 Miners after one “inning” of the tiebreaker. Another zero for the ValleyCats in the second frame put Audy Ciriaco to the plate, and the Miner fan favorite also rose to the occasion. Audy hit three longballs for Sussex County, putting the pressure on Tri-City to hit at least five home runs in eight pitches to extend the game. But when the fourth pitch was grounded to third base, the Miners – and their fans – celebrated the team’s first win in the tiebreaker.