Aces and Angels Divide Doubleheader

Jul 09 2017 ABCCL League News | Comments Off on Aces and Angels Divide Doubleheader

By: Matt Lamb

Williamstown, NJ – With the All-Star break in their rearview mirror, ABCCL teams got back into the swing of things on Sunday, and the Jersey Aces and New Jersey Angels split a doubleheader at Owens Park in Williamstown.  The Aces took Game One 1-0, but fell to the Angels 8-1 in Game Two, which each lasted seven innings.

Both teams had minimal offense in Game One, but the pitching from the Aces was just a little bit better as they grabbed the win in the first game of the day. The Angels’ bats awoke in Game Two, capturing the lead early and never looking back.

Game One

NJ Angels’ Julius Puryear rounds first in the seventh inning of the opening games against the Aces.

The first game saw just four hits recorded between the two teams, with the Aces collecting three of them. The game’s only run was scored in the bottom of the second inning. With two outs, Matt McCourt (Mullica Hill, NJ/ Mount Aloyisius College, PA) doubled for the Aces’ first hit of the day.  A hard-hit ground ball by Ashton Bianchi (Mullica Hill, NJ/ Manhattan College, NY) would result in an error, and McCourt came around to score the game’s only run. McCourt also was the only player to record multiple hits in the effort.

The Angels had few opportunities to get any offense going. In the bottom of the first, they recorded their only hit by way of a Jon Iaione (Bernardsville, NJ/ New York University) single. With two runners on base with two outs, a fielder’s choice thwarted any chance for a run to score. It was difficult for the Angels to get anything going with Victor Lebron (Blackwood, NJ/ Rowan University, NJ) on the mound for the Aces. He threw six-plus shutout innings, allowing just the one hit while striking out four.

Lebron exited the game after allowing a walk to lead off the top of the seventh that brought on McCourt in relief, who faced some additional trouble. Julius Puryear (West Orange, NJ/ Bergen County Community College, NJ) stole second base and the advanced to third on a passed ball with no outs. He was thrown out at home on the next pitch when trying to score on a ground ball. Shortstop Giovanni Torres (Harrisburg, PA/ Lackawanna College, PA) threw a strike to catcher Chris Roan (Woodbury, NJ/ Rowan College at Gloucester County, NJ) who applied the tag in time. With a runner on first and one out, Roan threw out the runner, who was attempting to steal second. McCourt then struck out the game’s final batter to record the save.

The loss for the Angels spoiled another excellent outing for Zack Frederick (Montville, NJ/ Wilmington University, DE) who allowed just one unearned run on three hits and two walks while striking out three over six innings.

Game Two

The Angels looked for revenge in the second game, using their bats to challenge the Aces and salvage the split on the day. Aidan Favia (Short Hills, NJ/ Monmouth University, NJ) tripled in the bottom of the first inning and scored on a groundout to give the Angels the game’s first run. The lead would extend to 2-0 in the bottom of the second, when Ross Halkias (Kinnelon, NJ/ Rutgers University-Newark) scored from third as Pat Davis (New Providence, NJ/ Dickinson College, PA) was caught stealing second.

The Aces grabbed their only run of the game in the top of the third inning. A double to the gap in right-center field by Kyle Walker (Piscataway, NJ/ Rutgers University-New Brunswick) scored Wyatt Thomas (Little Egg Harbor, NJ/ Camden County College, NJ).

Brendan Ball (Bernardsville, NJ/ Lafayette College, PA) started for the Angels in Game Two and did not disappoint. He grabbed the complete game victory, as he allowed one earned run on six hits while fanning three and walking none. “Drew [Jansen] was calling a good game for me and I was mixing pitches and keeping them off-balance. I wasn’t really overpowering on one pitch, just keeping them on their front foot and hoping for weak contact,” Ball said.

The Angels continued to pad their lead in the later innings. An RBI single from Luke Magliaro (Fairfield, NJ/ Morris County College, NJ) and a two-run double from Halkias helped boost the lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning. An RBI single from Puryear would extend the lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth, and a two-run single by Iaione scored Davis and Ball’s college teammate Drew Jansen (Short Hills, NJ/ Lafayette College, PA) made the score 8-1. After one hit in Game One, the Angels ripped 12 hits off the Aces’ pitchers in the second contest.

“In Game One we were hitting the ball in play but they just weren’t falling for us. But in Game Two we had some bloopers and balls that fell in… and when we put the ball in play good things happen,” Ball added. “We had a good offensive approach all day, but they were falling more in Game Two and it helped the team get the job done.”

The Aces (11-10) travel to Freehold to take on the Clippers at Michael J. Tighe Park on Tuesday, July 11 at 5:45 p.m. The Angels (6-13) next play on the same day and time at North Brunswick Community Park against the New Brunswick Matrix.