Sussex County Rallies for Dramatic Walk-off Win in Game 3 of Can-Am League Championship Series
The Sussex County Miners and Quebec Capitales are showing why they were the best two teams’ during the the Can-Am League regular season. With the championship series tied at 1-1 heading into a pivotal Game 3 at Skylands Stadium in Augusta, New Jersey on Friday night, both teams’ once again went toe to toe from start to finish. During the regular season Sussex County won 7 out of 10 against Quebec at home.
Attempting to go for back-to-back titles, the Capitales jumped out to a quick advantage in the second inning off Miners starting pitcher Jordan Cummings, scoring twice on a Maxx Tissenbaum RBI double and Brank Antchak run producing single.
However, the Miners did not waste any time responding against Quebec starter Lazaro Blanco in the third inning. Just as he did in the top of the sixth inGame 1 at Stade Canac, Audy Ciriaco delivered with the bases loaded, clearing them with a double. Having driven in four runs in the first two games, Daniel Mateo continued to sizzle at the plate with an RBI single.
Cummings managed to work out of a jam in the fourth, coaxing Capitales designated hitter Nick Van Stratten into a double play. His luck would run out in the following inning as Yordan Manduley slugged a three-homer putting Quebec back on top. Zach Wilson plated an RBI single extending the margin to 6-4. Cummings night was done after 4 1/3 innings, yielding six runs, five of them earned on nine hits and one strikeout.
With Blanco exiting the contest after seven innings, Sussex County went to work in the eighth with the catalyst Daniel Mateo leading off with his second home run of the series and third overall of the postseason off Quebec reliever Wendell Floranus. Catching a break on an error by Kalian Sams in centerfield, Jayce Ray reached third base. Miners catcher Christian Correa tied the game up with a single.
Taking over the pitching duties, Michael Wagner did a superb job on the mound, tossing 4 2/3 shutout innings, scattering two hits, walking none and whiffing three. In the bottom ninth, Mikey Reynolds led off with a walk off Capitales reliever Will Dennis and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Dennis.
Ciriaco was intentionally walked setting the stage for Mateo. Facing a 3-2 count and fouling off a couple of pitches, Mateo roped a single into shallow left field as Reynolds motored around the bases and slid in safely at home as a jubilant Miners team poured out of the dugout to congratulate him, as he increased his team-leading RBI count total in the playoffs to 13.
Posting the best regular season record in franchise history with a 63-38 record, Sussex County will attempt to notch their first championship title in Game 4 on Saturday night with first pitch at 6:05 p.m.
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