NJ Jackals Come Back to Win Wild Game
It was the annual Monday night Dog Night at Yogi Berra Stadium, but fans did not just see dogs running wild on the field during the game they saw a wild game themselves. The New Jersey Jackals beat the the Three River Eagles (Trios-Rivieres Aigles) 10 – 6 to take the first game of the team’s four game series in a thrilling but crazy game on Monday night.
The Jackals began this high scoring affair in the first inning when DH Joe Dunigan hit an RBI double to put New Jersey up 1-0. After the Eagles would tie the game at 1-1 with an RBI groundout, the Jackals would retake the lead in the third inning with a solo home run by Alonzo Harris to make it a 2-1 game. After that, the game got a little bit crazy.
After a bad call by the first base umpire to start the fourth inning, the Jackals would commit two errors that allowed the Eagles to tie the game and then take a 3-2 lead. The Jackals committed five errors in the game, two of which by Harris at second base.
The Jackals were down 4-2 going into the bottom of the sixth inning, but New Jersey would come alive again. The Jackals would cut the deficit to 4-3 when Dunigan gets his second hit of the night, hitting a RBI single. Dunigan on his approach at the plate Monday night said “I’m just trying to be more relaxed. I’m an aggressive hitter. Sometimes it works for me sometimes it doesn’t, but tonight I was able to get a couple of key hits and help the team win.”
After Dunigan’s RBI single, third baseman Jeremy Barnes would hit a two run home run to give the Jackals a 5-4 lead. Barnes who has been struggling at the plate this year said on his big home run “It felt good. I haven’t been swinging the bat as well this year as I did last year., but I was able to put a good swing on it and it’s something I can build on.”
In the seventh inning, the game would take another interesting turn after the Jackals committed two errors to start the inning. Reliever Ryan Fennell would walk a batter with the bases loaded allowing the Eagles to tie the game at 5-5. The Eagles would then take the lead on a RBI groundout and have a 6-5 lead over the Jackals going into the bottom of the seventh.
Down 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh, the Jackals would battle back again to retake the lead. With men on second and third and no outs, center fielder Felix Sanchez would hit a two run double to put the Jackals up 7-6 and give them the lead for good. Sanchez who has been a clutch hitter for the Jackals so far this season said of the clutch hit “It feels really good. Before I would come into those moments so nervous but now in these situations I just want to hit because I want to be the hero.”
The Jackals would then add another run in the seventh and two more in the eighth to make it a 10-6 game and go on to a big win to open up the series. Dunigan on how big the win was for the Jackals said “We want to come out here and start off the series well. Joe (Jackal’s manager) told the team earlier that the last time these guys came they took it to us pretty good, so we need to come out and make sure we gave everything we had out there.”
With the win, the Jackals improve to 21-3 n the season and are 7-3 in their last 10 games.
Game Note: This was the first time the Jackals would face former teammate Jose Cuevas, who was traded to Three Rivers on June 24th.
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