By Casey Egan’
August 4, 2016/Holmdel, NJ – On Thursday evening at St. John Vianney High School the DiMaggio Bombers and New Jersey Angels faced off one final time to see who would move on in the ABCCL playoffs.
The Angels got on the board first when Bobby Gramer (Millstone, NJ/Middlesex County College, NJ) reached base on a walk. Steve Weisensee (Clark, NJ/Misericordia University, PA) was up next and hit a sharp ground ball to the right side of the infield for a single advancing Gramer to third base. Weisensee was followed by Cris Cabral (Lodi, NJ/Bloomfield College, NJ) who reached base on a fielder’s choice, driving in Gramer to give the Angels an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
The Angels went on to score again in the bottom of the fourth when Gary Puente (Linden, NJ/St. Peter’s University, NJ) got his team’s at-bats started with a base on balls. After a strikeout, Kristian Hernandez (Hazlet, NJ/Chestnut Hill College, PA) drew a walk to put men on first and second. A line drive single into left field off the bat of Konnor Schneider (Bernardsville, NJ/DeSales University, PA) drove in Puente making the score 2-0. Gramer stepped up to the plate next for his second at-bat of the game and walked to load the bases. Weisensee and Cabral were issued walks as well which forced two runners to cross the plate marking the score at 4-0 at the end of four.
The Angels posted another run in the bottom of the sixth when Weisensee led off with a single to center. Cabral reached base on a hit by pitch setting the stage for Craig Sanford (Millstone, NJ/Hamilton College, NY). Sanford delivered with a single to left to drive in Weisensee from second to give the Angels a commanding 5-0 lead. The Angels went on to score one final run in the bottom of the seventh when Hernandez started the inning off with a line drive single into right field. Schneider followed with a sacrifice bunt to move Hernandez over to second base and Gramer grounded out to first to move Hernandez over to third. Weisensee drove in Hernandez when he hit a broken bat single into center field making the score 6-0.
Along with the Angels aggressive offensive performance on Thursday night their pitching was a key factor to their success. Dylan Crowley (Basking Ridge, NJ/The College of New Jersey, NJ) through a full seven innings on the mound allowed just three hits, two walks, and no earned runs. Crowley also had seven strikeouts, six of which were recorded when he struck out the side in order in both the top of the fourth and fifth innings. When asked what his approach was heading into the game Crowley stated “I just wanted to get out there and get my team the win. I knew I had to come right in and go after their [The Bombers] hitters. My biggest problem was trying to be perfect. I missed some spots on 0-2 pitches but fought back hard and it worked out for us.”
Crowley was relieved by Zach Frederick (Montville, NJ/Wilmington University, DE) in the top of the eighth who struck out four in his two innings on the hill. The Angels will face off against the Monmouth Monarchs Friday night at St. John Vianney High School at 5:30pm to see who will advance to the championship game against the Freehold Clippers at Brookdale Community College Saturday morning at 11am. Anything can happen this late in a season so it will be exciting to see which team comes out as the ABCCL champions on Saturday morning!