Clippers Edge Giants 2-1 in Extra Innings Thriller

Jul 20 2017 ABCCL League News | Comments Off on Clippers Edge Giants 2-1 in Extra Innings Thriller

By: Matt Lamb

Freehold, NJ – The Freehold Clippers and Ocean Giants were deadlocked in a 1-1 tie at Michael J. Tighe Park in Freehold from the fourth inning on, and it took a walk-off single from Tyler Wisniewski (Toms River, NJ/ Arcadia University, PA) to become the difference maker in a ten-inning contest on Thursday night

Freehold’s Dylan Evans slides into third base just ahead of the tag by the Giant’s Andrew LaRosa in his steal of the base in inning seven of Thursday’s game.

The two teams were in a tight battle all game long, and strong pitching from both sides left men on base for each team, preventing several runs from coming across the board.  Both pitching and defense played a large part in the game, but Wisniewski ultimately came through for the Clippers (17-10).  “I was looking for a pitch to drive and knock through the infield and help win the game”, he said.

The Clippers struck first in the bottom of the second inning.  With one out, Wisniewski was able to drop a ball into shallow center field to score Steve Edelstein (Staten Island, NY/ Stockton University, NJ). The Giants (14-14), despite having runners in scoring position in the first and third innings, scored their first and only run in the top of the fourth inning on an RBI single from Justin Bates (Brick, NJ/ Montclair State University, NJ), bringing home James Donlon (Farleigh Dickinson University-Teaneck, NJ) from second base

Anthony Vlahovic (New Hope, PA/ Chestnut Hill College, PA) earned the start for Freehold, and threw three innings of one-hit ball.  The Clippers used four pitchers in the winning effort. James Manos (Freehold, NJ/ Stockton University, NJ) started the game for Ocean, and he tossed five innings for the Giants, allowing one unearned run on four hits to go with three strikeouts.

Thursday’s game did produce several thrilling moments late that kept both teams on their heels and the outcome certainly in question.  The Clippers had an opportunity to prevent the game from heading to extras in the bottom of the seventh inning when, after making a tremendous diving catch earlier in the affair, Dylan Evans (Brick, NJ/ LaSalle University, PA) led off with a double.  Evans then stole third, but a great grab-and-throw from Ocean shortstop Mike Cirilli (Ramsey, NJ/ Alvernia University, PA) nailed Evans at home when he attempted to score on a ground ball.  Austin Lindsay (Allentown, NJ/ The College of New Jersey) reached second base later in the inning after a series of fielder’s choices, but the side was retired on a fly out.

In the top of the eighth, the Giants were threatening.  A hit-by-pitch, a single by Quin Krais (Maplewood, NJ/ Wheaton College, MA) and a walk loaded up the bases for the Giants.  Freehold’s Taylor Reynolds (Jackson, NJ/ Neumann University, PA) put an end to the inning however, striking out Dan Tricarico (Piscataway, NJ/ Rutgers University-Newark).  Reynolds ultimately picked up the win by tossing three scoreless innings of relief.

Andrew LaRosa (Brick, NJ/ Neumann University, PA) led the way for the Giants offensively with two of the team’s six hits.  Tim Rossi (Point Pleasant, NJ/ Stockton University, NJ) pitched four innings of relief, allowing only two hits, but it was Justin Kaplan (Marlboro, NJ/ Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg) who was saddled with the loss.  Wisniewski was the only player for the Clippers to record multiple hits, both having big implications.  “I was able to find ways to come through at the plate, but by allowing only one run the pitching kept us in the game,” Wisniewski said.

The Clippers will return to Michael J. Tighe Park in Freehold on Sunday, July 23 with a doubleheader against Clemente Baseball Club, beginning at 10 a.m.  The Giants will also play a doubleheader on Sunday with the Jersey Aces at Owens Park in Williamstown, with the first pitch set for 11 a.m.