Perez Lights Out as Jackals Defeat Winnipeg
It was Mardi Gras Night at Yogi Berra stadium last night, and the New Jersey Jackals fans in attendance had a lot to be happy about all game long. Fans watched their Jackals beat the Winnipeg Goldeyes 4-1 in the first game of their three game series. The Jackals, through pitching, clutch situational hitting, and the long ball, won the game and kept their first place lead in the Can-Am League.
The Jackals got a great pitching performance from their starting pitcher, Gabriel Perez. Perez was lights out for the Jackals throwing seven shutout innings giving up only one hit with four strikeouts. Perez on his performance said “I feel good, I was able to make the pitches I had to make to get the win.” Throughout the game Perez was able to get on top of the Winnipeg big hitters and jokingly said “If I didn’t walk a couple batters and hit a batter, I could have pitched the whole game.”
The Jackals, though, had a reliable reliever for Perez in Ty Kelley. Kelley pitched the last two innings for New Jersey giving up two hits, struck out three and gave up the only run that Winnipeg would score all game long. “It was a great team win. Perez came out there and gave us seven great innings and I was able to come in and close the game for us.” said Kelley who combined with Perez to allow Winnepeg only one hit through the first eight innings of the game. Kelley, even though mhe gave up the hit but was unable to keep the shutout going was happy with his performance saying “It sucks not being able to keep the shutout going especially for Perez. But a wins a win and I was able to do my part to help the team win.” “Also ending with striking out a batter looking is a great way to end the game.” jokingly said Kelley.
Besides great pitching, the Jackals had a great performance from their offense as well. It all started with center fielder Alonzo Harris who hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first to put the Jackals up 1-0. Harris, who has been the Jackals best hitter overall this season, said on starting off the game with a home run and the win, “It felt great coming off an off day to come here and get the W. On the home run, you know I’m a small guy, not a home run hitter but I got good pitch, put a great swing on it and it felt great just to hit it out.”
The Jackals would add on to their lead later in the inning when second baseman, Jeremy Barnes hit a solo home run of his own to put the Jackals up 2-0. Barnes, who has been getting his swing back after missing a week of games because he was sick said on getting his swing back “It feels good to get that home run out of the way. I feel that I’ve been hitting pretty well lately after missing some time being sick. Just feels good to just be playing and helping the team get the W tonight.” New Jersey would add their last two runs with a sac fly by third baseman Steve Nikorak, in the fourth inning and an RBI double by newly acquired right fielder, Jorge Cortes, in the fifth inning.
With the win the Jackals improve to 13-9 on the season. After playing their last two games in the series with Winnipeg, the Jackals will have a three game series at home with Can-Am League rivals Trois-Rivieres Aigles.
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