Quebec hangs on for 4-3 win against Sussex County in Game 2 of Can-Am League Championship Series
Having dropped the first game of the Can-Am League Championship Series at Stade Canac and facing the prospects of going down 0-2 heading back to New Jersey, the Quebec Capitales were looking to even up the series on Thursday night. Capitales starter Jay Johnson certainly didn’t get off on the right foot, allowing two runs in the first inning. Connor Crane smashed a one-out solo home run over the left field wall. Mikey Reynolds followed with a double to left center and came in to score easily on a single by Daniel Mateo. However, Quebec’s offense responded in the bottom half of the frame thanks to some poor defense by the Miners.
Shortstop Yordan Manduley led off with a single followed by swiping second base. James McOwen ended up hitting a comebacker to Sussex County starting pitcher Andrew Vinson who tossed the ball to Mateo at first base. With Manduley taking off for third base on the play, Mateo fired the ball across the diamond but the ball went wide of the bag enabling Manduley to score. The Capitales kept the pressure up in the second loading up the bases with one out, right fielder David Salgueiro drilled a two-run double down the left field line.
Announcing after the game ended that he was playing his final game in a Quebec uniform and Quebec City, Kalian Sams made sure to give the fans one more highlight reel moment bashing his fourth home run of the playoffs deep over the center field wall leading off the third inning.
Meanwhile Johnson settled into a grove on the mound retiring 10 hitters in a row at one point. However, Vinson went above and beyond that streak, setting down 13 in a row before yielding a lead off walk to McOwen in the eighth. In eight innings on the hill, Vinson tossed 111 pitches giving up four runs, three of them earned on four hits, three walks and five strikeouts.
In the eighth, Sussex County had an opportunity to cut into the lead with runners at first and second one out. Johnson managed to work out of the jam coaxing Mikey Reynolds into an inning ending double play. The Miners refused to go quietly in the ninth against Capitales closer Trevor Bayless, Mateo cranked a out single to center field followed by Martin Figueroa hammering a double into the left center field gap.
Luis Alen made it a one run game hitting a grounder to second baseman TJ White as Mateo came into score. With the crowd at Stade Canac in frenzy, Bayless struck out Jayce Ray to end the game. Johnson earned his third win of the postseason, yielding two runs, one earned on five hits, three walks and seven strikeouts while Bayless recorded his first save.
The Can-Am League Championship series switches to Skylands Stadium in Augusta, New Jersey this weekend with Game 3 on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. Game 4 is on Saturday night at 6:05 p.m.
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