Clemente Falls to Ocean Giants in Seven

Jul 26 2017 ABCCL League News | Comments Off on Clemente Falls to Ocean Giants in Seven

By Emily Winter

Monmouth Junction, NJ –The Clemente Baseball Club went down to a hard-fought 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Ocean Giants Wednesday night at Sondek Park.

Clemente struck first in the bottom of the first inning when Joe O’Rourke (Staten Island, NY / Fairleigh Dickinson University–Teaneck, NJ) reached first on a ground ball single. Lenin Gomez (Edison, NJ/ New Jersey City University, NJ) followed with a homerun to left, scoring O’Rourke and giving Clemente an early 2-0 lead.

Clemente didn’t allow any runs until the third inning as they continued to switch out their players on the mound. In the game, the team used five pitchers in seven innings of play.

Andrew LaRosa (Brick, NJ/ Neumann University, PA) led off the top of the third for the Giants, reaching first after being hit by a pitch. Quinn Krais (Maplewood, NJ/ Wheaton College, MA) followed and drew a walk advancing La Rosa to second.  Mike Cirilli (Ramsey, NJ/ Alvernia University, PA) brought both runners home with a line drive double to center, knotting the game at two. Evan Pietronico (Matawan, NJ/ NJ Institute of Technology, NJ) drew another walk and the bases were reloaded when Mason Marino (Brooklyn, NY/ Caldwell College, NJ) was also hit by a fastball. Dan Tricarico (Piscataway, NJ/ Rutgers University-Newark, NJ) stepped up to the plate and promptly roped a double, scoring both Cirilli and Pietronico, increasing the Giants’ lead to 4-2.

In the fifth, the Giants added to their lead when Cirilli singled on a line drive to right field, advanced to second, and scored on a fielder’s choice ground ball by Marino. Later in the inning, an attempted double play by Clemente backfired, when a critical error at first base permitted Marino to score what would be the last run of the night for the Giants.

Clemente began a last-minute comeback in the bottom of the seventh. Steve Santigate (Marlboro, NJ/ Kean University, NJ) led off with a single to center field and James Eldridge (Jamesburg, NJ/ Delaware Valley University, PA) and Mikal Trice (Plainfield, NJ/ Kean University, NJ) drew walks to load the bases. The Giants held their breath as Chris Rodriguez’s (Manalapan, NJ/ University of South Carolina-Upstate, SC) long fly ball was caught by the Giant’s right fielder, as Santigate tagged up and scored on the play. With two outs and players on first and second, Clemente’s rally fell short, as an infield grounder sealed the Giants’ win, 5-3.

With the first round of playoff games this weekend, Max Godfrey, Assistant Coach for the Giants, stated, “I’m looking forward to a good showing. I think our mental approach and taking good routes to baseballs on defense will be huge. Come playoff time you can’t worry too much, you just need to go out and do your best to win ball games. We’re a tough team and win or lose we’ll put up a fight.”

The Ocean Giants will next host the Freehold Clippers at Holmdel High School on Thursday, July 27 at 5:45 PM, while the Clemente Baseball Club will face the Jersey Aces at Owens Park on the same day at 7 PM under the lights in the last regular season game.