Jackals Avoid Sweep, Remain in First Place
The red-hot New Jersey Jackals had their Tuesday night matchup with the Ottawa Champions called off from heavy rain during the evening of the Fourth of July. They rescheduled to create a double-header on Wednesday July 6. This doubleheader was scheduled for one of the hottest days at this point in the summer in New Jersey.
Hoping to keep their strong offense from the weekend series with the Capitales rolling, the Jackals found themselves in an early 3-0 hole when they came to the plate in the bottom of the first. An exciting inside the park homerun for Mike O’Neil got the Jackals on the board in the home half of the first.
In the bottom of the third Sandoval contributed an RBI to bring the Jackals within one run of the Champions. However, in the top of the fifth a timely double down the right field line scored a pair for the Champions and again put them ahead by three. The champions went on to post a whopping six runs in the top of the fifth putting them ahead 9-2.
The Jackals did what they could in the bottom of the fifth but only mustered one run to bring the tally to 9-3 in favor of the Champions. The jackals struck again in the bottom of the seventh and posted another three but that would be all the scoring in this game, and the Jackals weekend sweep of the Capitales was followed by a tough 9-6 loss to the third place Champions.
Jackals star player Art Charles was removed in the fourth inning of the morning game due to dehydration on this scorching hot day. He would go on to miss the afternoon game as well.
The Champions continued their habit of getting out to an early lead in game two of the Wednesday double header. Putting up two runs in the top of the second which were matched in the bottom half by the Jackals. A solo shot in the top of the third again put the Champions ahead and the score would remain 3-2 heading to the top of the third.
Ottawa’s offense continued to have success at Yogi Berra Stadium and put up four big runs in the top of the fourth inning to give them a comfortable 7-2 lead. The Jackals failed to cut into the five run lead held by the Champions until the bottom of the seventh inning in which they pieced together one further run. The final would come out to be 7-3 in favor of the Champions.
The doubleheader sweep for the streaking champions gave them a seven game winning streak and meant they had won five of their last six series. The Jackals still were sitting atop the CanAm standings late Wednesday night tied with the Capitales. The streaking Champions were tied with the Rockland Boulders two games back of New Jersey and Quebec.
Thursday evening gave the Jackals an opportunity to avoid being swept at the hands of the Champions. Jackals’ starter tip toed his way out of an early jam in the bottom of the first inning. The Jackals seized the opportunity to strike first and back to back doubles by Bladel and Richardson put the Jackals ahead 1-0.
In the top of the fourth the Champions offense returned and they posted three quick runs to give them a 3-1 advantage heading into the bottom of the fourth. The Jackals weren’t going away without a fight and a SAC fly from Eddie Newton scored D’Vontrey Richardson to bring the Jackals back within one.
The Jackals tied the game in the bottom of the sixth at three runs apiece. The score would go on to remain tied until the bottom of the ninth inning. Bladel drew a two out walk and stole second. He advanced to third on a passed ball and scored to win the game for the Jackals on an infield single from D’Vontrey Richardson.
The Jackals avoided the sweep and held on to first place for another day. They will host the Quebec Capitales for a three game weekend series at Yogi Berra Stadium beginning tonight at 7:05pm.