NJ Jackals Drop Two Straight to the Saints
The New Jersey Jackals are in unfamiliar territory. They are on a losing streak. For the first time this season, the Jackals have lost back to back games to the Saints, 16-3 on Sunday afternoon and 5-0 on Saturday night, but the more demoralizing loss was yesterday on Family Fun Day at Yogi Berra stadium.
From the start, it didn’t look like the Jackals were gonna be in store for an embarrassing loss. The Jackals took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 3rd inning off of a solo home run by third baseman Steve Nikorak. After the Saints took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 4th inning, the Jackals came back to tie in the the bottom half of the 4th inning with a solo home run by designated hitter Joe Dunigan. After that half inning, the game got uglier for the Jackals.
From the 5th inning on, the St. Paul offense would score 14 more runs and turn this back and forth game into a no doubt one-sided affair. The Saints had four players with two or more hits and three players with three or more RBI’s in the game. Overall, the Saints hammered out 16 hits against Jackals pitching, seven of them off of Jackals starting pitcher Tom Vessella, who lasted 5 innings, giving 7 runs with 3 walks, and a strikeout. The best performances for the Saints were undoubtedly their right fielder Evan Bigley and their first baseman Henry Wrigley.
Bigley went 3 for 5, with 4 RBI’s on the day. Wrigley did a tad much better, going 5-6 with 7 RBI’s, three of them coming off a three run home run in the top of the 9th inning. Wrigley’s 5 hits marked the first time Saints player had five or more in a game since 2011 and his 7 RBI’s marked the first time a Saints player had 7 or more RBI’s in a game since 2008.
The Saints offense wasn’t just the only story for the St. Paul starting pitcher Robert Coe. Coe had a career high of eight strikeouts in the game, going 7 innings, giving up only two runs on four hits.
A game that will go down as one of the worst losses in Jackals franchise history, Jackal players know they need to not dwell on it and move on. Jackals first baseman Jon Talley said, “This loss does absolutely nothing to us. It’s one game out of 100 for us this year, so we will learn from it and just pick things back up on Tuesday.”
Even though this was an embarrassing loss for the Jackals, it doesn’t matter much because it is still the beginning of the season, and it doesn’t take away the success they have had so far this year. With the loss, the Jackals record is now 6-3 and they are still in first place in the Can-AM league standings. This loss also marked the first time the Jackals lost a series this year, as well.
Talley commented, “We were on fire there for a while. We started out 5-0 and hit a little rough patch this week, but if we keep stringing hits together and playing aggressive like we have, we won’t have any more problems for the rest of the year.”
The Jackals will be off on Monday and will start a series with Can-Am league rivals the Rockland Boulders on Tuesday. The Jackals will host a home game Tuesday night and then will travel to Pomona NY, where they will play the last 2 games of the series at Rockland’s home stadium, Provident Bank Park.
Game Notes: With his solo home run in the 4th inning, Jackals first baseman Joe Dunigan, now has 4 home runs on the year and is tied for the most home runs so far this season in the Can-Am league.
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