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Diamond Notes

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Giants Steal One from the Pilots
July 27, 2014

By Mike Mannucci, Jersey Pilots

The Jersey Pilots came into Sunday afternoon’s game knowing that they would be up against a South Jersey Giants club fighting to further solidify their 2nd place position in the Kaiser division playoff race. The Pilots, with an opportunity to play spoiler at this point in the season, could not hold off the Giants, who won the game in comeback fashion by a score of 5-4.

After giving up two runs in the 1st inning, Pilots’ starting pitcher Stephen Silvestri was able to bounce back strongly after his offense answered quickly in the bottom of the 1st inning with 4 runs of their own to take a 4-2 lead. Silvestri pitched a full 7 innings giving up 9 hits on two earned runs and struck out 5 batters.

1st baseman, Anthony Critelli, singled in his first at bat scoring leadoff hitter Mike Caputo. Next batter, Malcolm Kelsey, hit a double in his first at bat to bring Critelli home to tie the game up. Designated hitter, Jeff Anderson would follow up with a single of his own scoring Kelsey to take the lead, and Anderson scored on a wild pitch to take a two-run lead.

After the 1st inning, the game remained scoreless all the way up until the top of the 7th inning with Silvestri still on the mound. Down to their last out of the game with two runners on base, the Giants would make a substitution where pinch hitter Ryan Kelley doubled scoring 1st baseman, Josh Limon. The Giants found some life and 3rd baseman, Shaine Hughes, drove in both runners on base to take the 5-4 lead and ultimately winning the game in another tough loss for the Jersey Pilots at home.

The Pilots next game is a Monday night doubleheader beginning at 5pm in Pennsylvania where Jersey will take on the Wolff division-leading Allentown Railers.

Generals Sweep Tide
July 27, 2014

By Matt Nelson, Trenton Generals Baseball Club

The Generals brought the brooms to Mercer County Community College and they defeated the Tide 2-0 and 2-1 on Sunday afternoon.

Trenton scored the only runs of Game 1 in the bottom of the first. Steven Kowalski reached on an infield single. After the young man from Drew University stole second, Andy Lopez walked on a full count. Lopez and Kowakski put a double steal on Tide pitcher Delio Coutinho. The New Jersey City University product threw a wild pitch, Kowalski scored and the Generals took a 1-0 lead. Moments later, Ryan Reitmeyer ripped an RBI single to centerfield. Lopez came in to score and Trenton took a 2-0 lead.

Paul Balestrieri picks up the victory (5-0) and he gave up no runs on five hits, four walks and six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings. Delio Coutinho allowed two runs on six hits, five walks and four strikeouts in six innings and he picks up the loss (3-1). Joe DiGiovanni earned his first save as a General by giving up a fielder’s choice to Joe Venturino with the bases loaded and two out in the top of the seventh.

In Game 2, Andrew Lysy made his first start for Trenton since July 8 at Staten Island and the Rowan University product had a solid outing on the mound. The Generals provided the right hander with a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Joe Jensen led off with a single to centerfield. The young man from Hamilton College stole second before Steven Kowalski grounded out to second. Jensen scored a wild pitch from Matt Kostalos.

Lysy was taken out of the ballgame in the top of the sixth as DiGiovanni made his way to the mound for the second time of the day. The Mercer County Community College product gave up a lead-off walk to Nick Espino. After Espino was caught stealing second, Venturino ripped a single to left-centerfield. Following a fly to second by Dylan Sprague, Venturino advanced to second on a wild pitch. Steve Notaro tied the ballgame with an RBI single to left.

Trenton grabbed the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth. Brandon Kirk laced a double to straightaway centerfield. Michael Mecca hit a bunt towards third the throw by Sprague was wide right of Giakis. Kirk came into score on the sacrifice error.

DiGiovanni picks up his first win (1-1) as a General. He allowed one run on two hits, one walk and no strikeouts in one inning. Kostalos gave up two runs on four hits, five walks and three strikeouts in six innings and earns the loss (1-2). Josh Sharik picks up his first save of the season pitching and the Rider University product was perfect in the seventh.

The Generals play host to the South Jersey Giants for the final time at Mercer County Community College on Monday afternoon. The game begins at 5:00 P.M. Listen to the game with Matt Nelson beginning at 4:45 P.M. on www.ustream.tv/channel/trenton-generals-baseball.

Blazers Tie ACBL Mark with Ninth Consecutive Victory; 2.5 GB of Playoff Spot
July 27, 2014

By Phil Engel, Quakertown Blazers QUAKERTOWN, Pa. – The Quakertown Blazers bested the North Jersey Eagles 10-5 and 5-3 on Sunday afternoon. The two wins ran the Blazers’ season long win streak to nine straight, tying the ACBL-mark for the longest winning streak by a team this season.

With the Trenton Generals sweeping the Staten Island Tide on Sunday, the surging Blazers now sit just 2.5 games behind the Tide for the fourth seed in the ACBL playoff standings. Quakertown has four games remaining in the regular season to try and earn a playoff berth.

The Blazers continued their hot hitting as they scored four times in the first inning to begin game one. Quakertown was aided by sloppy North Jersey defense in the frame as the Eagles committed three errors that led to the four runs. Chris Melillo brought home Blazers returnee, Brandon Martinez, for the first run of the game. Martinez led off the inning with a hustle double to shallow left field. Tyler Kirkpatrick reached base on a fielder’s choice to plate Jackson Martin, who reached on an error attempting to sacrifice Martinez to third. Kirkpatrick came around to score on a deep double to center off the bat of Kevin Jewitt. Jewitt scored the fourth run of the inning on a single by Corey Baiada.

Jewitt tacked on another run for the Blazers in the third inning as he reached on an infield hit to shortstop. Melillo was able to cross home plate on the play to provide Quakertown with the 5-0 advantage.

The Blazers were not done as they scored five more times in the fourth to go in front 10-0. Martin, Patrick Donnelly, Melillo and Baiada had four consecutive RBI singles to center field driving in all five runs in the inning. Baiada finished game one with two hits and a team-best three runs batted in.

The Eagles cut into the lead in the fifth inning, scoring four times with the big blow coming from a three-run home run by Ryan Carroll. The four runs snapped Blazers starter John Geffre’s 18 inning scoreless streak.

North Jersey loaded the bases with one out in the sixth looking to cut into the deficit further but Geffre was able to escape the jam with only one run scoring, making it 10-5. Geffre finished the day allowing five runs on nine hits in six innings of work but was given plenty of run support to pick up his fourth win of the year.

In the nightcap, the Blazers started right where they left off as they took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Kirkpatrick delivered a two-out base knock to center and Martin came in from third to give Quakertown the early edge.

North Jersey took their first lead of the day in the fourth inning as they got to starter Kevin Long for two runs (one earned). Long misfired on a pickoff attempt to first which allowed Jason Uliano to score from third to tie the ballgame. Dane McDermott singled to left to bring home Brian McKenna to put North Jersey in front 2-1.

The Eagles threatened to pad their lead in the fifth as they put runners on second and third with just one out. But Long buckled down and was able to record the final two outs via a strikeout and groundout to keep the score at 2-1 North Jersey.

The Blazers bounced back in the bottom of the fifth as they put two runs on the scoreboard to regain the lead at 3-2. Donnelly came through in the clutch as he singled to right on the seventh pitch of the at bat. Connor Donovan and Brandon Martinez scored on the play to put Quakertown in front.

The Blazers added two insurance runs in the sixth to increase their lead to 5-2. Jewitt drove a ball over the center fielder’s head to bring home Kirkpatrick. Jewitt later scored in the frame on a base hit up the middle from Ed Posavec.

Closer Ryan Flipowicz finished out the game, throwing two innings of relief. He allowed one run on three hits and one walk. He punched out two in the outing to earn his seventh save of the season.

The Blazers travel to Easton, Pa. on Tuesday night with a doubleheader against the Lehigh Valley Catz to try and stretch their winning streak to 10 games and continue their push to the postseason.

Jersey Takes a Pair from Trenton
July 26, 2014

By Matt Nelson, Trenton Generals Baseball Club

Despite a pair of solid pitching performances by Sean Keenan and Andy Sullivan, the Generals dropped their doubleheader to the Pilots 3-2 in each game on Saturday afternoon.

Keenan received the nod from Coach Jim Maher for Game 1 and Trenton helped the young right-hander from Marist College in the bottom of the second. Brandon Kirk was hit by a pitch off the glove of Nick Campione. Luke Westerberg laced a single to right-centerfield. Michael Mecca grounded in an RBI fielder’s choice and the Generals took a 1-0 lead.

Jersey tied the ballgame in the top of the fifth. Beau Horan led off with an infield single. Nelson Valerio was hit by a pitch. Sean Feeney grounded into a fielder’s choice, Valerio was retired at second and Horan scored all the way from second to tie the game at 1-1.

The Generals retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Michael Mecca ripped a double down the right-field line. After Geggie Russomagno grounded out to third, Mike Piscopo poked an RBI single to centerfield and Trenton took a 2-1 lead.

The Pilots reclaimed the lead in the top of the seventh. Sean Feeney laced a single to left field. Malcolm Kelsey ripped a single to centerfield and James Lyczkowski came in to pinch-run for Kelsey. After the Generals made a pitching change, Ian Glassman delivered an RBI single to right-centerfield. Feeney scored and the throw by Joe Jensen was off-target. Lyczkowski scored and Jersey never looked back.

Campione picks up the win (1-3) and he allowed two runs on six hits, one walk and two strikeouts in five and one-thirds of an inning. Sean Keenan picks up the loss (4-2) and he gave up three runs (two earned) on eight hits, one walk and two strikeouts in six and two-thirds of an inning. Jake Regina gets credit for the save (1) allowing no runs on two hits, one walk and no strikeouts in one and two-thirds of an inning.

In Game 2, the Pilots jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth. Ian Glassman led off with a walk off of Andy Sullivan, who was making his first start since July 1. Glassman stole second base and Anthony Critelli ripped a single to right field. Critelli stole second and Jeff Anderson hit an RBI groundout to second. Emil Zorrilla delivered an RBI groundout to third.

Jersey extended their lead in the top of the sixth. Anthony Critelli laced a single into left field. Greg Kocinski poked a pinch-hit single to right field. Sullivan’s day came to an end as Corey Ensslin made his Generals debut on the hill. Critelli grounded into a rare 3-5-3 double play. Spencer Diggins laced an RBI double to left field and the Pilots took a 3-2 lead.

Trenton responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Andy Lopez led off with a single to straightaway centerfield off of Anthony Romito. Brandon Kirk drew a five-pitch walk. Luke Westerberg hit a ground ball to short, Kirk was retired at second, but the throw by Sean Feeney sailed over Critelli at first. Lopez came into score on the fielder’s choice and the error by Feeney. Drue Brooks came in to pitch for Romito and Brooks gave up an RBI single to Mike Piscopo.

Romito picks up the victory (2-3) and he allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits, five walks and one strikeout in five and one-thirds of an inning. Andy Sullivan takes credit for the loss (2-2) and the young man from UNC Pembroke gave up three runs on five hits, two walks and one strikeout in five innings. Jake Regina picks up the save (2) allowing no runs on no hits, two walks and one strikeout in the seventh inning.

The Generals play host to the Staten Island Tide in a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at Mercer County Community College. Game 1 is scheduled to begin at 1 P.M. Listen to the games beginning at 12:45 P.M. with Matt Nelson at www.ustream.tv/channel/trenton-generals-baseball.

Blazers Win Seventh Straight to Remain in Playoff Hunt
July 25, 2014

By Phil Engel, Quakertown Blazers.

QUAKERTOWN, Pa – The Quakertown Blazers defeated the South Jersey Giants 6-5 and 8-3 on Friday night at Quakertown Memorial Park. The two wins pushed the Blazers’ current win streak to seven consecutive victories, a season-high. Kevin Jewitt provided the spark in game one as he drove home Patrick Donnelly in the bottom of the ninth for the walk-off win. In game two, an early 6-0 lead was all the Blazers needed as they went on to win 8-3.

The two victories helped bring the Blazers to within 4.5 games behind the Staten Island Tide and the Giants for the fourth seed in the ACBL playoff standings with just six games remaining in the regular season.

Play began tonight with the Blazers having runners on second and third with only one out as the two squads set out to complete the July 8th contest that was suspended in the fifth inning, tied at 2-2. New pitcher for the Giants, Matt Rakus, struck out Jewitt and Connor Donovan to get out of the two-week old jam.

The Blazers took the lead in the sixth inning as Ed Posavec singled home Tyler Kirkpatrick, Kirkpatrick started the frame with a deep double to the left center field gap.

The Giants rallied in the top of the eighth as they scored three runs (one earned) against relievers Brandon Kulp and Ryan Flipowicz. A costly two-base error by centerfielder Jackson Martin allowed the two go-ahead runs to cross home plate.

Quakertown was unfazed as they were able to score twice in the bottom of the eighth off RBI base hits by Corey Baiada and Vince Careghini to knot the score up at 5-5.

In the bottom of the ninth, Donnelly led off with a single to right. With one out in the frame, Jewitt came up to the plate. The Villanova-product cranked the 0-1 offering to the center field wall. Donnelly raced around from first and scored without a throw to give the Blazers the 6-5 walk off win.

The Blazers jumped out to an early lead in game two, scoring three times in the second inning. Kirkpatrick put the Blazers on the scoreboard as he drove in Posavec on a single to center. Later in the frame with the bases loaded, Donnelly smacked the ball up the middle, plating Careghini and Kirkpatrick. Quakertown did all their damage in the inning with two outs.

Quakertown padded their lead in the third inning as the Blazers scored three more runs to move ahead 6-0. Baiada scored the game’s fourth run as he scampered home on a wild pitch by Giants pitcher, Anthony Buonopane. It appeared as that was all the Blazers would get in the inning as Kirkpatrick hit a fly ball to left for the third out. However, the left fielder mishandled the catch and Posavec and Careghini scored without issue to provide the Blazers with the six run cushion.

The Giants cut into the lead as Kyle Lindsay deposited a two-out base hit into right field, just over the reach of first baseman Connor Donovan. Two Giants scored on the play to make it 6-2 Blazers. Quakertown starter Matt Ternowchek limited the damage as he got Shaine Hughes to fly out to left to end the inning.

In the top of the sixth, the Giants sent the tying run to the plate with just one out. Dan Furman entered from the bullpen to try and prevent further damage. Furman did his job as he retired both hitters he faced in the frame, allowing just one inherited runner to score on a wild pitch.

The Blazers answered in their half of the sixth. Jewitt reached base with a one-out single. Three wild pitches over the course of the next two Blazer hitters allowed Jewitt to reach home to put the Blazers in front 7-3. Quakertown tacked on another run as South Jersey pitcher, John Brue, issued four straight free passes which brought home Baiada to put the Blazers in front by five.

Furman closed it out in the seventh, recording a clean 1-2-3 inning to pick up his first save of the season.

The Blazers will look to continue their season-high seven game winning streak as they host the North Jersey Eagles for a doubleheader on Sunday beginning at 1 p.m.


   


ACBL Hot Corner


Todays Games

    
7/28/2014 5:00:00 PM
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Staten Island
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Allentown
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Scores from Yesterday

    
7/27/2014 4:30:00 PM
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2014 ACBL Standings

Wolff Division

 WLTPCTGB
Allentown251200.6760.0
Quakertown171900.4727.5
Lehigh Valley112200.33312.0
Jersey102400.29413.5

Kaiser Division

 WLTPCTGB
Trenton241210.6620.0
South Jersey221500.5953.0
Staten Island191610.5424.5
North Jersey142200.38910.5

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