Matrix Bring the Heat to Down Superstars

Jul 18 2017 ABCCL League News | Comments Off on Matrix Bring the Heat to Down Superstars

By: Matt Lamb

 North Brunswick, NJ – On a hot and humid Tuesday evening at North Brunswick Community Park in North Brunswick, the New Brunswick Matrix kept the heat up, piling on 19 hits in a 16-0 victory over the North River Superstars in eight innings.

The Matrix Nick Smutko, who had three hits on the day, leads off first base.

With the win the Matrix improved on their league-leading record, which now stands at 22-5. Three pitchers were also able to combine for the shutout of the Superstars (7-19), who were only able to muster three hits. The Matrix had nine players record a hit, with six of them recording more than one.

“The way our lineup was put together tonight we just had to concentrate on swinging at strikes,” said Matrix Head Coach Glenn Fredericks. “The way our home field is set up and the way we like to play, there’s no reason to expand the zone and you have a lot of chances for success when you stay within yourself and don’t over-extend your swing.”

Scoring started off in the bottom of the first inning with a quick four runs.  After Anthony Perconte (Westfield, NJ/ Rutgers University-Newark) tripled to lead off the game, he scored the first run, coming home on a sacrifice fly.  Two singles followed by an error, allowed David Cardona (Elizabeth, NJ/ The College of New Jersey) to score making the Matrix lead 2-0.  Nick Smutko (East Brunswick, NJ/ Marymount University, VA) would next deliver a two-run single, one of his three hits on the day.

The Matrix doubled their lead in the bottom of the third inning, plating another four runs.  An RBI single from Zach Marzano (Edison, NJ/ East Stroudsburg University, PA) scored Justin Marks (South Plainfield, NJ/ Rutgers University-Newark) to make the lead 5-0.  Marzano then scored on a sacrifice fly three batters later.  A Smutko single later in the inning put runners on the corners for Greg Sampson (East Brunswick, NJ/ Rutgers University-Newark) who blooped a single to right field, allowing both runs to score after a misplay in the field to bring the lead to 8-0.

The bases were juiced for the Matrix in the following inning, and they continued to capitalize on their opportunities.  Cardona was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in a run.  An RBI single from Dan Valerio (Tinton Falls, NJ/ Southeastern University, FL), one of his four hits of the day, brought the lead to double digits.  A sacrifice fly would score Marzano and extend the lead to 11-0.

In the bottom of the fifth, Perconte doubled on a ball twirling fair to left field, scoring Sampson to make the game 12-0.  The Matrix then got back to work in the bottom of the sixth, again with the bases loaded.  Singles by Mike Decker (Montgomery, NJ/ Rowan University, NJ) and Smutko brought the lead to 14-0, followed by a sacrifice fly and another bases-loaded hit-by-pitch later in the inning, which allowed the Matrix to take a 16-0 lead.

One run would have been plenty for the Matrix pitching staff, who used three pitchers to combine for the shutout. Stephen Bloyed (North Brunswick, NJ/ Rutgers University-Camden) started the game for the Matrix and went five innings, allowing two hits and one walk while striking out five.  Danny Phillips (Jackson, NJ/ Central Florida University) and Sampson went the rest of the way, totaling four strikeouts.  The game was called after eight innings due to darkness.

Perconte and Fredericks both believe that the all-around solid performance was indicative of the team’s play all season.  “Our approach every game is to get on the other guys early,” Perconte said.  “As a leadoff, I want to put together a good at bat to start us off and the other guys want to do the same thing. We have a good team, so when we get good at-bats, good things happen.”

“Bloyed gets the ball and right away goes to work,” Fredericks added.  “He doesn’t do too much; he stays within himself and pounds the strike zone. He keeps the fielders on their toes and doesn’t get in trouble by walking guys.  It gives us a chance to remain focused and ready to go.”

The two teams will square off again on Thursday, July 20 at Bergen County Community College in Paramus.  First pitch is set for 5:45 p.m.