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Diamond Notes

Pilots, Eagles split Wednesday’s doubleheader
July 29, 2015

By Peter Warren | Jersey Pilots

After playing a doubleheader on Tuesday, the North Jersey Eagles and Jersey Pilots played another doubleheader Wednesday. The Pilots won game one in walk-off fashion, 9-8, while the Eagles won game two 7-5.

The Eagles led for most of game one. Luis Amaro hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning and Zachary Tondi hit a solo home run in second inning to make the score 2-0. The Eagles added three more runs in the fourth on RBI singles by Ryan Rivera and Andrew Murnane and on an error on a ball hit by Paul Rufo.

The Pilots added two runs of their own in the fourth on a Rob DeAngelis triple and Austin Unglaub groundout. Both teams also scored runs in the sixth. Rivera hit a solo homer for the Eagles and Greg Kocinski had a 2 RBI single for the Pilots.

After scoring two more runs in the top of the seventh, the Eagles had an 8-4 lead. With one out, the Pilots loaded the bases with David Young at bat. He hit a single that scored one run and then Greg Kocinski hit a double that scored two runners. Those two hits cut North Jersey’s lead to one. Kocinski’s double was followed up by a Stephen Petriello sacrifice fly to tie the game. Kocinski advanced to third on the sacrifice fly.

With the game tied, Brian Dudeck came to the plate. After getting two strikes on Dudeck, Eagles pitcher Anthony Auletta threw a wild pitch. Kocinski broke immediately from third and slid in just ahead of the tag to give the Pilots the win.

In game two, the Eagles again took an early lead. They scored two runs in the first and one run in the second. The Pilots responded with two runs of their own in the third and one run in the fourth. Both teams score one run in the fifth inning. The score was 4-4 through five innings.

The Eagles blew the game open in the sixth. Murnane knocked in two runs with on an error and Amaro knocked in a run to make the score 7-4.

The Pilots did rally in the seventh, but they fell just short of tying the game. Young knocked in a run on a double and the Pilots also had runners on second and third with no outs. However, they could not manage to get the runners to cross home plate.

The Pilots are now 10-25-1, while the Eagles are now 17-21.

The Pilots will be at Quakertown on Friday and the season finale is currently set for Sunday with a doubleheade

Eagles Steal Doubleheader Sweep from Pilots to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive
July 28, 2015
Daniel Rajkowski and Luis Amaro
By Dominick Savino | North Jersey Eagles

In the lead-up to Tuesday night’s doubleheader against the Jersey Pilots, the post-season outlook for the North Jersey Eagles had swiftly turned grim.

The offense had sputtered, producing less than two runs per game over a seven-game stretch that saw the Eagles drop six of those contests.

The pitching staff did its best to keep the ballclub within striking distance in each matchup, maintaining an ERA near 4.00 during that span of games.

Even so, the fatigue caused by 14 games in the final 13 days of the ACBL season had begun to show, as the number of exhausted or frustrated Eagles increased with each passing day.

Yet, after 14 innings of baseball and two come-from-behind victories on a sweltering Tuesday night, none of that seems to matter anymore.

The Eagles swept both ends of a doubleheader against the Pilots at Overpeck Park, clinching a 6-3 victory in Game 1 with a 5-run 5th inning and scoring four runs in the final two frames of Game 2 to win 5-4 in walk-off fashion.

By locking down the dramatic victories, North Jersey (16-20) regains a tenuous foothold in the ACBL Wild Card race, moving to 1.5 games behind Trenton and 2.5 games behind South Jersey in the three-team hunt for the final playoff spot.

The beginning of Game 1 followed the script of many frustrating Eagles defeats this season, as an error by starter Dan Rajkowski allowed David Young to score and give the Pilots an early 1-0 lead.

However, just a half-inning later, Paul Rufo erased the deficit with one swing, walloping the second pitch he saw over the left-field fence for a leadoff homerun.

With the game tied, Rajkowski and Pilots starter Nick Pedalino traded zero after zero, as no runner advanced past first for either squad.

That is, until the bottom of the 5th inning, when the Eagles’ dormant offense suddenly came alive.

North Jersey lit up a tiring Nick Pedalino for six straight hits, including a double by Matt Krupa to start the rally and another 2-RBI two-bagger by Paul Rufo. Matt Stalter, Andrew Murnane, and Tolly Filotei each added a single, a run scored, and a stolen base in the rally, giving the Eagles a momentum-shifting 6-1 lead.

With three outs left before their playoff hopes mathematically expired, the Pilots attempted to piece together a big inning of their own in the 7th, using doubles by Brian Dudeck and Young and two walks to cut the deficit to three. However, with the tying run at the plate, Brandon Issa regained his composure and recorded an emphatic three-pitch strikeout of John Scarr to halt the comeback and give the Eagles a 6-3 victory.

With the Eagles’ five-game losing streak snapped, the team worked hard to strike again early in the evening’s second game, but Mike Sweeney and Tyler Curto soon became locked in their own pitchers’ duel. Both Game 2 starters worked efficiently on the mound, allowing only 4 baserunners combined in the first three frames to sprint to the 4th inning in less than 30 minutes.

In that top of the 4th inning, however, Sweeney relented first, and the Pilots pushed three runners across the plate to take a 3-0 advantage. It was the heart of the lineup that produced the damage, as Young, Greg Kocinski, and Scarr all scored via three hits and an error by the right fielder.

North Jersey answered back with a run of their own in the home-half of that inning. With Luis Amaro on third and Frank Mayo on first, the two unlikely stolen-base candidates executed a flawless double steal, as Luis Amaro slid around Petriello’s tag at the plate to put his team on the board.

After Nick Masterson inherited a two-on, no-out scenario in the top of the 6th, the Pilots added an insurance run on an RBI groundout by Christian Zazzali to push their lead to 4-1.

In desperate need of a rally, the Eagles loaded the bases in the bottom of the 6th, as Ryan Rivera was hit by a pitch and John Kukura and Amaro each worked walks. From there, the deficit was cut to just one run on back-to-back sacrifice flies by Krupa and Mayo.

After Masterson stranded two runners to keep the score at 4-3 in the top of the 7th inning, the table was set for the Eagles in the bottom of the inning.

Pinch-hitter Shane Woelfel led off with a walk, Filotei doubled into the corner in left, and Rufo worked another walk to load the bases for North Jersey in the second straight frame.

With Vincent Zanfordino in to pitch for the Pilots after throwing a scoreless inning in Game 1, Ryan Rivera capitalized on the closer’s exhaustion by sneaking a single under Kocinski’s glove at third to score Woelfel and tie the ballgame.

Two batters later, Luis Amaro added to the accolades he has picked up this summer, slapping a single in right field to begin the celebration in Ridgefield Park and sustain the Eagles’ playoff aspirations for another day.

Here is the call of Amaro’s walk-off hit from the Eagles Radio Network:

With four games left in the 2015 ACBL season, North Jersey will travel to Berkeley Heights on Wednesday, July 29 to face the Jersey Pilots in another doubleheader. First pitch for Game 1 will be at 4:30pm, and the pregame show with Eagles broadcaster Drew Casey will begin at 4:15pm on

Generals Beat Tide 9-5
July 28, 2015

By Matt Nelson | Trenton Generals

The Generals were 2-4 against the Staten Island Tide coming in to Tuesday’s matchup and they left Mercer County Community College as 9-5 winners in the home finale.

The Generals jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Following singles by Ryan Reitmeyer, Andy Lopez and David Osnato, who had an RBI single, Brian Lawler ripped a bases-clearing double to right centerfield.

The Generals tacked on one more run in the bottom of the third and had a 5-4 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth. Ryan Shinn had an RBI single that would extend the lead to 6-4.

In the bottom of the seventh, Mike Pfenninger’s RBI sacrifice fly gave the Generals a 7-4 lead and they would put the game away in the bottom of the eighth.

Reitmeyer and Lopez had back-to-back RBI doubles as the Generals went on to score the most runs in any game this season.

The 2-5 hitters combined to go 8-17 with five doubles, six runs, six RBIs and five strikeouts.

C.J. Hirschy picked up the win (2-2) and gave up four runs on nine hits, no walks and three strikeouts. Tony Baglivo and Karl Blum combined for one run on four hits, two walks and one strikeout in the final four innings.

With the win, the Generals improve to 17-18 and are one game behind the South Jersey Giants for the fourth and final playoff spot in the ACBL standings.

The Generals will be on the road for the remaining five games beginning with the second game of a home-and-home series with the Tide on Thursday. First pitch is at 6:00 P.M. and Matt Nelson will have the pregame show at 5:45 P.M. on

Trenton Tops South Jersey 2-1
July 27, 2015

By Matt Nelson | Trenton Generals

Heavy rains cut today’s game short by one inning as the Generals defeated the South Jersey Giants 2-1 at the conclusion of eight innings at Mercer County Community College on Monday afternoon.

Mike Salvatore gave the Generals the lead with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth. He finished 1-2 with a run scored, an RBI and a walk.

Tied 1-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Ryan Reitmeyer punched the go-ahead RBI single to give the Generals the lead.

Just before the top of the ninth got under way, the umpires converged on the first-base line and suspended the game for six minutes before determining that the field was too damp to continue play.

Cole Creighton picked up his third win of the season (3-3). The southpaw gave up no runs on no hits, no walks and one strikeout in three innings of relief. Left-hander Matt Hornich had another excellent outing as he allowed a run on six hits, a walk and two strikeouts in five innings.

With the win, the Generals are 1.5 games behind the Giants for the fourth and final spot in the ACBL playoff picture.

The Generals will play their final home game of the 2015 season on Tuesday against the Staten Island Tide. First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 P.M. Matt Nelson will have the Play-by-Play action beginning with the pregame show at 4:45 P.M. on

Joe Jensen (Trenton Generals) Signs Professional Contract
July 26, 2015
Southern Illinios Miners, Logo Courtesy of Southern Illinios Miners Professional Baseball
Article courtesy of Hamilton College
Logo courtesy of Southern Illinios Miners Professional Baseball

Former Trenton Generals (ACBL) and Hamilton College baseball player Joe Jensen, (hamilton College, Trenton Generals, 2014) (WWP North) has begun his professional baseball career after signing with the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League. Jensen made his debut with the Miners earlier this week.

Jensen played with the Trenton Generals last summer and was selected to play in the 2014 ABCL All Star game. He was honored by Baseball America as the top Division III MLB Prospect in the nation. He was also honored by Perfect Game as the 6th best MLB Prospect in the Atlantic Region.

The Miners stand in second place in the East Division of the 14-team Frontier League with a 35-20 record. The team, based in Marion, Ill., is in its ninth year of operation. The Miners have sent two players to Major League Baseball, including Tanner Roark, a current pitcher with the Washington Nationals.

Jensen’s first game with Southern Illinois was Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Gateway Grizzlies. He went 0-3 as the team’s designated hitter.

A two-time NESCAC all-star, Jensen started every game in center field and led the Continentals with a .398 batting average, 47 hits, 29 runs scored, 24 stolen bases and a .450 on-base percentage. His stolen base total led the NESCAC and he ranked among the conference leaders in batting average (third), hits (sixth) and on-base percentage (ninth). Hamilton’s lead-off hitter, Jensen hit six doubles, three triples and a home run while driving in 14 runs.

A three-year starter, Jensen finished as the program’s all-time leader in hits (135), runs (90), stolen bases (78) and triples (six). He helped Hamilton win 16 games this spring, tying a school record. The Continentals’ 16-14 mark gave them their first winning season since 1990.

Jensen played his home games at Hamilton's Royce Field, a facility named for 1914 graduate Steve Royce who signed with the New York Giants before leaving baseball to begin law school (despite the urgings of the Giants, who were managed by Hall of Famer John McGraw).

He was also a three-time All-American sprinter with Hamilton’s indoor track & field team.

Article courtesy of Hamilton College, Logo courtesy of Southern Illinios Miners Professional Baseball

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2015 ACBL Standings

Wolff Division

South Jersey201800.526
Lehigh Valley83200.200

Kaiser Division

Staten Island231210.653
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