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Clippers Rally to Split Doubleheader with Matrix

Jun 11 2017 ABCCL League News | Comments Off on Clippers Rally to Split Doubleheader with Matrix

By: Matt Lamb

North Brunswick, NJ – Six unanswered runs by the Freehold Clippers in the second game of a doubleheader with the New Brunswick Matrix allowed them to split Sunday’s contests, falling in Game One 5-4 but winning Game Two 8-4 at North Brunswick Community Park in North Brunswick.

The level of competition between the two illustrated why both squads have started their respective seasons strong. The Matrix responded each time the Clippers scored in Game One, and brought home the final run to secure the win. After New Brunswick (7-2) jumped out to an early lead, Freehold (5-3) rallied to avoid the sweep.

Game One

The Matrix got on the board early when they jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning thanks to the bat of Zach Marzano (Edison, NJ / East Stroudsburg University, PA). He launched a 3-2 pitch over the left field fence in a hurry to help the Matrix strike first.

The Clippers answered in the top of the second when John Moschella (Little Silver, NJ / Tufts University, MA) lined a single to right field to drive in Freehold’s first run. Two batters later, an error scored Eric Small (Downington, PA / Chestnut Hill College, PA) to tie up the game, but Moschella was thrown out at the plate in an attempt to take the lead.

A fielder’s choice allowed New Brunswick to retake a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the third, but Freehold answered right back with two runs of their own to take the lead in the top of the fourth. With the bases loaded, Jeff Goldrosen (Manalapan, NJ / Bard College, NY) slapped the ball back to the Matrix pitcher, but the throw to home was not in time, scoring Jacob Simon (Hightstown, NJ / The College of New Jersey) to tie the game up. Small scored on a fielder’s choice on the next play to give the Clippers a 4-3 edge.

It was the Matrix who again had an answer. In the bottom of the fifth, Marzano grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Anthony Perconte (Westfield, NJ / Rutgers University-Newark) knotting the game up again. Another fielder’s choice brought home Pat Anderson (Long Valley, NJ / The College of New Jersey) to put the Matrix ahead for good, 5-4.

The Matrix preserved the win with a strong relief effort from Connor Dolan (Monmouth Junction, NJ / Raritan Valley Community College, NJ). He fanned five in two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit.

Game Two

For the second time in the day, the Matrix opened up the game with some early offense. Perconte and Anderson scored on an error and groundout, respectively to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

But the Clippers responded in a hurry, as Dan Iannaconne (Parlin, NJ / Rutgers University-Newark) reached on an error, bringing in Alec Craig (Hammonton, NJ / Chestnut Hill College, PA). Iannaconne would score two batters later on an RBI single by Austin Lindsay (Allentown, NJ / The College of New Jersey) to tie the game at 2-2.

The Matrix didn’t need much offense to produce their next two runs, drawing two straight bases-loaded walks to extend the lead to 4-2 in the top of the second. The Clippers got one run back in the bottom of the second to cut the deficit to one run.

The following inning, the Clippers made their move. An RBI triple from Iannaconne plated Craig to tie the game, and then he scored the go-ahead run on an error. A wild pitch two batters later allowed Dylan Evans (Brick, NJ / La Salle University, PA) to score and make the game 6-4 in favor of Freehold.

The Clippers tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the sixth by way of an RBI single by Shane Keledy (Hamilton, NJ / Mercer County Community College, NJ) and Moschella, who scored on a wild pitch after doubling earlier in the inning.

“I just think we had the momentum from that point on,” Iannaconne said about his RBI triple. “Al (Craig) got on with a double and my job was to get him to third base and I got a hold of the ball down the line to bring him in, and Dylan (Evans) put the ball in play to keep the ball rolling. It was a really good team effort.”

The New Brunswick offense came to a halt after the second inning, being shut down by the Clippers bullpen. The trio of Matt Guarino (Jackson, NJ / Widener University, PA), RJ Hennessy (Flemington, NJ / Muhlenberg College, PA) and Dan Murphy (South Amboy, NJ / Rutgers University-Newark) combined for just one hit over five scoreless innings, while striking out five batters and walking none in the process.

Iannaconne believes the pitching was a large part of the victory in Game Two. “Those guys came out ready today. They knew what they had to do when they came in the game. They attacked the zone with first pitch strikes, which was huge. You can’t fall behind. They also let us make plays in the field. They didn’t need to strike everyone out.”

Each team will look to keep its strong start intact with doubleheaders on Tuesday, June 13 as part of a makeup schedule from June 6. The Matrix will face the Monmouth Monarchs in two, seven-inning games at North Brunswick Community Park, with Game One starting at 5:15 p.m. The Clippers will take on Clemente Baseball Club in two, seven-inning games at Michael J. Tighe Park in Freehold. First pitch for Game One is also scheduled for 5:15 p.m.