Swept By Miners, New Jersey Jackals Fall From First Place
The New Jersey Jackals finally let their inconsistency get the best of them this past weekend. Suffering a three-game sweep at the hands of the Sussex County Miners, the Jackals finally were ousted from first place in the league. The Miners sit steadily in fifth place out of the six CanAm teams which only adds insult to injury for the Jackals who now sit 2.5 games back of first and alone in third place.
Luckily for the Jackals they have a three game set with the last place Trois-Rivieres Aigles beginning this evening. This series will give them a good opportunity to get back on track and make up some much needed ground they surrendered this weekend.
All three games this weekend with the Miners were decided by one run making the sweep hurt that much more. Scores of 5-4, 4-3, and 4-3 meant all three games were right there for the Jackals taking, they just couldn’t get a bounce to go their way or produce a run when they needed it most.
Friday was yet another case of the jackals giving up first inning runs and getting in an early hole. The Miners posted two runs in the home half of the first to take a 2-0 lead into the second. The jackals got both back in the top of the second but again the Miners struck to carry a 3-2 lead that would hold until the top of the fifth. The Jackals posted two in the top of the fifth and the Miners put up two in the bottom half making the score 5-4. That would wind up being the final as neither team could manage any offense after the fifth.
Saturday the Jackals came out looking to bounce back and scored a run in the top of the first. Unfortunately for the Jackals their run was answered by the Miners putting up one of their own in the bottom of the first. The score would remain 1-1 as sound defense and efficient pitching carried the tie ball game all the way to the bottom of the fifth knotted at one run a piece. The Miners finally broke through and posted one in the bottom of the fifth. Again the Jackals quickly answered in the top of the sixth to tie it up at two.
Eventually the Miners cracked it open again with two more runs in the bottom of the seventh making the score 4-2. The Jackals scraped a single run together in the top of the eighth and that would be as good as it got. The final score 4-3 in favor of the Miners.
In the series finale, the Jackals looked to avoid their first sweep in quite some time. They quickly got on the board in the top of the first on a Johnny Bladel single. The Miners waited until the third to tie things up at one a piece. Then in the fourth each team posted a run again. The Jackals again stepped in front in the top of the fifth to hold a 3-2 lead. Looking set to avoid the sweep the Miners spoiled the Jackals hopes by scoring in the bottom of the eighth. The game went to a tenth inning tied at 3 apiece and in the home half the Miners walked it off to complete the sweep.
The Jackals return home for a much needed series with last place Trois-Rivieres where they will look to make up some ground on Rockland and Quebec.