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Donlon’s RBI Single Gives Giants Walk-Off Victory Over Clippers in Regular Season Finale

Jul 27 2017 ABCCL League News | Comments Off on Donlon’s RBI Single Gives Giants Walk-Off Victory Over Clippers in Regular Season Finale

By John Sorce

Holmdel, NJJames Donlon (Brick, NJ/Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metro, NJ) came to the plate with a chance to win the game for the Ocean Giants and came through, bringing an exciting end to a two-run bottom of the seventh inning at Holmdel High School on Thursday night.

Shane Keldy (Hamilton, NJ/Mercer County CC, NJ) led off the game for the visiting Clippers with a walk and advanced to second after Dylan Evans (Brick, NJ/LaSalle University, PA) was hit by a pitch. A walk to Austin Lindsay (Allentown, NJ/The College of New Jersey) loaded the bases with one out for Steve Edelstein (Staten Island, NY/Richard Stockton College, NJ), who drove in two runs with a single to right and took second on an errant throw to the plate. With runners on second and third, Eric Small (Downingtown, PA/Chestnut Hill College, PA) followed up with another two run single, giving the Clippers an early 4-0 advantage.

“We got behind right away, but it was so early in the game we knew we just had to be patient and take it one pitch at a time. And it worked out for us,” Giants Head Coach Giuseppe Papaccio said. “We didn’t get too overwhelmed. We just stuck with what we were trying to do: get runners on base and make plays behind our pitchers.”

The Clippers would not have another base runner for the remainder of the game as the Giants’ bullpen threw 6.1 perfect frames, beginning with Andrew LaRosa (Brick, NJ/Neumann University, PA), who threw 3.1 innings with two strikeouts while recording four groundouts.

“Andrew came in and threw probably his best outing of the year,” Papaccio said. “He really put the team on his back because we needed a guy to pick us up after Tim (Rossi) went down, and he did just that. He threw strikes and we played solid defense behind him. It was important for us to have Andrew out there.”

The Giants began to claw into the deficit slowly but steadily. Dan Tricarico (Piscataway, NJ/Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ) led off the bottom of the third with a home run down the left field line that was close, but called a fair ball as it was launched well over the foul pole.

They added another run in the bottom of the fourth when LaRosa led off with a walk and advanced to second on a single by Donlon. Evan Pietronico (Matawan, NJ/New Jersey Institute of Technology) singled to center, but LaRosa was thrown out trying to score from second. Donlon scored on a double by Justin Bates (Brick, NJ/Montclair State University, NJ), making the score 4-2 in favor of the Clippers.

In the bottom of the sixth, LaRosa again led off, this time with a double. He advanced to third on a single by Pietronico and scored on a double by Bates, who drove in two runs on the night, closing the gap to 4-3.

Back-to-back singles by Quinn Krais (Maplewood, NJ/Wheaton College, MA) and Mason Marino (Brooklyn, NY/Caldwell College, NJ) to begin the bottom of the seventh enabled the Giants to tie the game. Krais took second on a wild pitch and was able to score from second on Marino’s single. Marino advanced to second on a groundout, took third on a wild pitch and scored the winning run on Donlon’s single to left center to give the Giants a well-earned 5-4 victory.

“We did a good job chipping away and we gave ourselves an opportunity to get the win in the last inning,” Donlon said. “The wild pitch that allowed the runner to advance to third made my job a lot easier. Once he got to third I was just looking to hit the ball hard somewhere and I got it to fall in between the outfielders.”