Strong Pitching Allows Clemente to Sweep Doubleheader versus Clippers

Jun 13 2017 ABCCL League News | Comments Off on Strong Pitching Allows Clemente to Sweep Doubleheader versus Clippers

By: Matt Lamb

Monmouth Junction, NJ – It takes a strong effort on the mound to defeat the defending champion Freehold Clippers, and Clemente Baseball Club was able to do that twice in Tuesday’s doubleheader at Sondek Park in Monmouth Junction, winning both games, 2-1 and then 5-2.

James Eldridge

Clemente (5-5) had a standout effort from starting pitcher Max Guidice (Hillsborough, NJ / The College of New Jersey) in Game One, as he pitched six innings and grabbed the win. In Game 2 the combination of James Eldridge (Jamesburg, NJ / Delaware Valley University, PA) and Brandon Radd (Edison, NJ / Drew University, NJ) helped hold the Clippers (5-5) at bay en route to a 5-2 victory.

Game One

The first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader started off quiet, as no scoring occurred until the top of the fourth inning, when Freehold grabbed its only run of the game. After leading off the inning by drawing a walk, Dylan Evans (Brick, NJ / La Salle University, PA) advanced to second base on a passed ball, and then to third on a groundout. He would come around to score on another passed ball to make the game 1-0 in favor of the Clippers.

Clemente answered in the bottom half of the inning. Two walks to start off the inning put men on base for Kellen Hardy (Branchburg, NJ / Mercer County Community College, NJ), who ripped a double down the left field line to tie the game up at 1-1. A sacrifice fly from Joe Piscopo (Matawan, NJ/Centenary College, NJ) allowed Dom Boccio (Dayton, NJ / Middlesex County College, NJ) to score, giving Clemente a 2-1 lead.

Those two runs were all that Guidice needed. He mowed through the Clippers lineup, allowing only one hit and one unearned run, while striking four over his six innings of work. Boccio used just nine pitches to complete a 1-2-3 seventh inning to earn the save for Clemente.

The Clippers used three pitchers in the effort, yielding only three hits, but it wasn’t enough to grab the first of two seven-inning games.

Game Two

It was Clemente who struck first in the second game. In the first inning, after two walks and a fielder’s choice left runners on corners, Hardy reached on an infield error that brought home Zach Szumigala (Fairless Hills, PA / Chestnut Hill College, PA) to quickly make the score 1-0.

Freehold would promptly tie the game in the bottom of the first on a solo home run to center field from Alec Craig (Hammonton, NJ / Chestnut Hill College, PA).

Clemente grabbed the lead back in the top of the second. Mikal Trice (Plainfield, NJ / Kean University, NJ) recorded one of his three hits in the game, as his single to left field brought in a run and make the score 2-1. A throwing error allowed Trice to score on the next play to give Clemente a 3-1 lead.

The game remained quiet until the top of the fourth inning, when following a walk, Trice hit an opposite-field drive to right field, and used his speed to get to third base for an RBI triple. A bases-loaded walk three batters later extended the lead to 5-1.

A sacrifice fly from Freehold’s John Moschella (Little Silver, NJ / Tufts University, MA) scored Evans to cut the lead to 5-2, but that was all the scoring the Clippers could muster.

The Clippers had a runner on first base with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning when the lights at Sondek Park shut off unexpectedly, forcing the game to end and the players, coaches and fans scrambling for a light source.

Clemente’s pitching again was a difference maker at the end of this game, as Eldridge tossed four innings and allowed just two runs on four hits, while fanning three. Radd came on in relief, allowing just two hits.

The two teams will continue to see more of each other in a doubleheader on Thursday, June 15 at Michael J. Tighe Park in Freehold, where the first pitch of Game One is scheduled for 5:15 p.m.