Sussex County cruises past Quebec 7-3 in Game 1 of Can-Am League Championship Series
After rain washed out Game 1 of the 2018 Can-Am League Championship between the Sussex County Miners and Quebec Capitales at Stade Canac on Tuesday, the weather cleared up allowing both teams to hit the diamond Wednesday night. Last year, the Capitales swept the Miners in the playoffs in addition to winning all seven games played during the 2018 regular season.
For the first four innings, Miners starting pitcher Kenny Koplove and Capitales starter Arik Sikula were locked in a pitcher’s duel throwing zeros up on the scoreboard while not yielding a single hit. However that would change in the 5th inning with Daniel Mateo breaking the stalemate with a one single. Martin Figueroa drove in the first run of the game with a two-out single into center field. Quebec right fielder Brad Antchak would break up Koplove’s no hitter with a two out base hit in the bottom half of the frame.
In the sixth, Sussex County padded its advantage, loading up the bases with one out Audy Ciriaco cleared it hammering a double down the left field line. Rolling along through six innings, Koplove managed to retire consecutive hitters after yielding a lead off single to Zach Wilson in the seventh. However, the Capitales managed to cut into the deficit starting with a Maxx Tissenbaum getting the Capitales on the board bashing a double into the right center gap.
Nick Van Stratten followed flicking a single just over a leaping second baseman Mikey Reynolds into right field. Brad Antchak kept the ball moving drilling a single into left field bringing in pinch runner David Salgueiro. That would end Koplove’s night as Kevin Grendell came on in relief. Facing Capitales catcher Adam Erhrlich, Grendell quieted the loud and raucous home crowd fanning Ehrlich. In the eighth inning, Daniel Mateo (3-for-4, two runs scored) brought the Miners players and coaches jumping out of the dugout, crushing a three-run home run deep over the left field wall off reliever Bobby Blevins. Meanwhile Grendell dominated on the mound in the remaining two innings to record his first save of the postseason while Koplove registered his second win of the playoffs.
Game 2 of the championship series is Thursday night at Stade Canac with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. before the series switches to Skylands Stadium for Game 3 on Friday night.
Sunil Sunder Raj
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