NJ Jackals Rally to Take Series From Defending Champs
There was a great game to watch at Yogi Berra Stadium Sunday afternoon. The New Jersey Jackals, in a thrilling game, defeated the Quebec Capitales 9-6 to win the weekend series. The Jackals rallied from a one run deficit in the 8th inning to take the lead and win the ballgame. The game was a back and forth contest all day long.
The Capitales grabbed the lead early in the top of the first inning, when DH Sebastien Boucher hit a RBI single to put Quebec up 1-0. The Jackals would then respond in the third inning, on a two run double by catcher Tony Caldwell, followed by a RBI double by left fielder JaRon Shepherd to take a 3-1 lead. After, the Capitales would come back to tie the game on another RBI single by Boucher and a solo home run by left fielder Matt Helms in the bottom of the fourth. The Jackals would then come back to take the lead in the bottom half of the fourth. The Jackals would score two runs in the inning, when second baseman Jose Cuevas scored on a throwing error by Quebec first baseman Rene Leveret, followed by a RBI single by shortstop Richard Arias to take a 5-3 lead.
With his offense helping him out all game, Jackals starting pitcher Isaac Pavlik was able to keep his team in the game, without having his best stuff. Pavlik would go six innings, giving three runs on four hits, with three strikeouts and walks and left the game with a 5-3 lead. On his pitching performance, Pavlik said “Today was a battle. Some days you have your best stuff, some days you don’t, but today I had to battle and the game came out in our favor, which what matters the most.” Going into the game, Pavlik lead the Can-Am league in wins and ERA, and still does after the Sunday’s contest.
After Pavlik gave them six innings, the Jackals would go to their bullpen and turn to reliever Shaun Ellis, who has been great for them so far this season. Ellis, though, would not be so great for the Jackals on Sunday afternoon. He gave up a three run homer to Boucher that gave the Capitales a 6-5 lead. Boucher, who was without a doubt the Capitales’ offense in this game, having 5 RBI’s of the 6 runs scored, went a perfect 3-3 at the plate with a walk.
Down 6-5, the Jackals wouldn’t give up and continued to battle back to take the lead. After being shutout for three straight innings, the Jackals offense would rally back in the bottom of the eighth. After Cuevas got on with a walk, Caldwell would come up big again for the Jackals, driving Cuevas in on a RBI double to tie the game up at 6-6. Caldwell on the hit and his great performance in the game said “I’m just coming out trying to do my job. Felt really good to come through with a big hit and help the team get the W.”
With the game tied at 6-6, the Jackals with two outs in the inning, would have men on first and second for right fielder Felix Sanchez, who came up big time in the clutch. Sanchez, would hit a go ahead RBI double, that followed by another throwing error by the Capitales, gave the Jackals a 8-6 lead. On his clutch hit Sanchez said “It was really nice. When you do something to win the game you get excited and it felt really good to get that hit.” The Jackals would then add a run when center fielder Alfonso Harris hit a RBI single to score Sanchez from second to push the lead to 9-6. The Jackals closer, Salvador Sanchez, would then come in to pitch a perfect ninth inning to close out the game and give the Jackals the victory.
The Jackals, with the comeback victory on Sunday, improve to 10-5 on the season, and get the weekend series win over Quebec. Pavlik would add on how big this win was saying “It’s a huge win. We won the series against our big rival, so it’ always a great win.”
With the series win against Quebec, the Jackals will be off Monday and then will start the second half of their home series with the Rockland Boulders from last week. The Jackals will play at Rockland on Tuesday, and will then play the last two games of the series home at Yogi Berra Stadium, on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday night.
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