NJ Jackals Fall in Extras to Three Rivers Then Drop Series
Fans at Yogi Berra Stadium, on Friday night, got to see some bonus baseball. That’s right, extra innings were on the menu for the New Jersey Jackals and the Three Rivers Eagles (Trios-Rivi`eres Aigles). Unfortunately, though, for the Jackals, the ending was not to their liking. The Jackals lost to the Eagles in 11 innings 4-3, losing the first game of their three game set with Three Rivers.
Throughout the game it seemed that both teams were imitating each other. Both the Eagles and the Jackals scored two runs in the second inning. The Jackals scored their runs on an RBI single by shortstop Richard Arias and on a fielder’s choice by center fielder Felix Sanchez. Both teams also played a sloppy game in the field. The Eagles and the Jackals combined for six errors in the game. Four errors by the Jackals and two by Twin Rivers. This game, though, was all about pitching. Both starting pitchers, Michael Antonini for the Jackals and Tyler Wilson for the Eagles, pitched great games.
Antonini pitched six good innings giving up two runs on only five hits and had six strikeouts. WIlson pitched six and two thirds solid innings giving up six runs on eight hits and striking out three. Antonini on his performance said, “I’ll take it. Any time I can give my team a chance to win as a pitcher I’m happy with.”
Besides both starting pitchers, each team had great outings from their relief pitchers. The Jackals got a great outing from their reliever, Shaun Ellis, who was huge for them in the later innings of the game. Ellis on his performance and how important he has been to the Jackals so far this season said, “It feels good to help out the team you know. This year I’ve done a good job of attacking the strike zone, mixing up my fast ball with my off-speed pitches and I’ve just been going out there and getting my job done.” Ellis pitched one and two thirds scoreless innings and struck out four Three Rivers batters.
After nine innings of play, the Eagles and Jackals were tied at two runs apiece and went into extra innings. After both teams didn’t score a run in the tenth inning, the game went into the 11th inning when the new Can-Am league rule came into effect. The rule is that from the 11th inning on, each team will start the inning with a runner at second base. That runner is the player that made the last out the inning before. Because of the rule, the Eagles were able to capitalize on it scoring two runs in the 11th to take a 4-2 lead. Unfortunately, the Jackals, in the bottom of the inning, were not able to capitalize on the new rule and only scored one run losing the game 4-3.
On the loss and the rule change, Ellis said, “I’m not a fan of it. But at the end of the day they capitalized on it and we didn’t so there is nothing for us to complain about. We have to move on from it and try to win the next one.” Antonini also shared his opinion on not being a fan of the rule saying, “Just play it out how the game’s played and go from there. I understand why they made the rule but I think we should just play the games how baseball is supposed to be played.”
With the loss the Jackals drop to 14 and 11 on the season and will play the final two games of their series with Twin Rivers before going on a six game road trip this upcoming week.
UPDATE: The Jackals would drop their weekend series with Twin Rivers 2-1, losing Saturday night’s game 5-2. The Jackals were able to end the series on a high note winning Sunday afternoon’s game 10-2. The Jackals are now 15 and 12 on the season.
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