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Clippers Throw Combined Shutouts in Sweep of Clemente

Jun 15 2017 ABCCL League News | Comments Off on Clippers Throw Combined Shutouts in Sweep of Clemente

 

By: Matt Lamb

Freehold, NJ – Three pitchers combined for 14 innings of shutout baseball on Thursday at Michael J. Tighe Park in Freehold as the Freehold Clippers shut out Clemente Baseball Club in two seven-inning games, winning Game One 6-0 and Game Two 2-0.

Clippers_Clemente Austin Lindsay

Offense continued to come sparingly during the doubleheader, as it did on Tuesday when Clemente swept Freehold. Freehold (7-5) used outstanding efforts on the mound from starting pitchers Dan Murphy (South Amboy, NJ / Rutgers University-Newark) and Matt Guarino (Jackson, NJ / Widener University, PA) to blank Clemente, who only mustered up six hits total in the doubleheader.

Game One

The Clippers quickly got on the board in the bottom of the first inning. Alec Craig (Hammonton, NJ / Chestnut Hill College, PA) scored on a fielder’s choice, and Eric Small (Downington, PA / Chestnut Hill College, PA) came around to make the game 2-0 after a Clemente error. They tacked on another run on an RBI single from Stephen Edelstein (Staten Island, NY / Stockton University, NJ) in the bottom of the fourth to make it 3-0.

Craig came across the plate on a sacrifice fly from John Moschella (Little Silver, NJ / Tufts University, MA) to make the score 4-0 in favor of the Clippers in the bottom of the fifth. The following inning, the Clippers were patient at the plate, drawing two consecutive bases-loaded walks to extend the lead to 6-0.

On the mound, Murphy was dominant. He had a perfect game going through four innings, and did not allow a baserunner until Clemente’s Steve Santigate (Marlboro, NJ / Kean University, NJ) hit a double over the center fielder’s head with one out in the top of the fifth inning. The only trouble Murphy saw was in the top of the seventh. After a walk, a Santigate single and another walk loaded the bases with two outs, however he got Chris Rodriguez (Manalapan, NJ / University of South Carolina-Upstate / SC) to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the game.

Murphy tossed the complete game shutout allowing just two hits and three walks while striking out eight batters. “My mindset was to get ahead of batters and stay ahead, and once I did that I was able to get the feel of my changeup and curveball and I felt good the rest of the game,” Murphy said. “The run support also kept me stay confident and in the zone. It helped out a lot.”

Game Two

In the second game, the Clippers once again grabbed a pair of runs in the first inning. Austin Lindsay (Allentown, NJ / The College of New Jersey) singled through the left side to bring in the game’s first run, and two batters later, Jacob Simon (Hightstown, NJ / The College of New Jersey) delivered an RBI single to right field to make the game 2-0 in the top of the first inning. Those two runs proved to be the only runs of the entire game.

After three hits in the first inning, Freehold recorded just four more the rest of the way. While Clemente only had four hits the whole game, they continued to pester Freehold and never let the game out of reach. Clemente had baserunners in six of seven innings, but it did not faze Guarino.

“I had 100 percent confidence in the defense behind me. They were making every play. I can’t say enough about [Eric] Small behind the plate. He was calling a great game and it propelled me to throwing well,” Guarino said. “I had a next pitch mentality all game, I know if they put the ball in play my guys were going to make plays behind me.”

The southpaw chugged through the Clemente lineup, allowing only four hits over six innings while fanning seven. His toughest stretch came in the middle of the game. In the bottom of the fourth, a Santigate single and two walks loaded the bases for Clemente with two outs. But Guarino struck out the next batter, leaving the runners stranded. In the bottom of the fifth, Hayden Reyes (Cranbury, NJ / Montclair State University, NJ) singled up the middle to put runners on the corners with one out. Again Guarino escaped unharmed, as Small threw out Reyes attempting to steal second base and then Guarino struck out the final batter of the inning, sending a pivotal run 90 feet away back to the dugout.

Tynan Mayer (East Windsor, NJ / Alvernia University, PA) came on in the seventh for the Clippers to record the save.

Each team will continue the heavy week with doubleheaders on Sunday, June 18. Clemente will face the North River Superstars for two, seven-innings contests at Rowland Park in Cranbury, with Game One starting at 9:30 a.m. Freehold will return to Michael J. Tighe Park to host the Monmouth Monarchs in a doubleheader that will begin at 10 a.m.