Close

Aces Sweep Doubleheader Against Clemente to Advance in ABCCL Playoffs

Jul 30 2017 ABCCL League News | Comments Off on Aces Sweep Doubleheader Against Clemente to Advance in ABCCL Playoffs

By John Sorce

Williamstown, NJ – The Number 3 seed, Jersey Aces swept a doubleheader from the Number. 6 seed Clemente Baseball Club on Sunday, advancing to the second round in the ABCCL Playoffs. The Aces won Game One by a score of 5-4 and Game Two 15-11.

Clemente got the scoring started in a back-and-forth Game One in the top of the third. Mikal Trice (Plainfield, NJ/Kean University, NJ) and Dan Bourp (Plainsboro, NJ/The College of New Jersey) led off with back-to-back singles and advanced to second and third on a sacrifice. Trice scored from third on a sac fly to right field, which also allowed Bourp to advance to third. Bourp scored on a fielding error to give Clemente a 2-0 lead.

The Aces answered right back in the bottom of the third. Kyle Walker (Piscataway, NJ/Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ) reached on an error with one out. Giovanni Torres (Harrisburg, PA/Lackawanna College, PA) followed up with a single and scored on a single by Matt McCourt (Mullica Hill, NJ/Mount Aloyisius College, PA), tying the game at two.

Clemente took the lead back in the top of the fourth as Kellen Hardy (Branchburg, NJ/Mercer County CC, NJ) led off with a single and took second on an error. He advanced to third on a ground ball and scored on a fly ball to right, giving Clemente a 3-2 lead.

The Aces tied the game at three with back-to-back one out doubles by Walker and Torres in the bottom of the fifth, and took a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh. Walker led off with a solo home run and after a 1-3 put out, McCourt doubled and scored on a single by Chris Roan (Woodbury, NJ/Rowan College at Gloucester County, NJ).

Clemente made it a one run game in the top of the eighth, when Hayden Reyes (Cranbury, NJ/Montclair State University, NJ) singled, advance to second on a single and scored on a single by Chris Rodriguez (Manalapan, NJ/University of South Carolina-Upstate, SC).

Clinging to their one run lead entering the final inning, the Aces were able to retire the side in order, preserving the 5-4 victory.

There was a lot more offense in Game Two that saw the Aces secure their ticket to the ABCCL semifinals with a 15-11 win.

Walker got the offense started in the top of the first for the Aces as he led off the ballgame with a walk. He advanced to second as Torres reached on an error, advanced to third on a fly ball and scored on a fielder’s choice ground out by Roan. The Aces added two more in the top of the third when Walker singled with one out and scored on a two run homer by McCourt, extending their lead to 3-0.

Clemente closed the gap in the bottom of the third as Trice and Rodriguez belted solo homers to make it a 3-2 game.

Both teams added lone runs in the fourth. Andrew Holmes (Egg Harbor Township, NJ/Bloomsburg University of PA) tripled with two out for the Aces in the top half and scored on a passed ball. For Clemente, Hardy struck out to lead off the inning, but reached first base as the ball got passed the catcher and scored on a double by Lenin Gomez (Edison, NJ/New Jersey City University, NJ).

Clemente went on a five run tear in the bottom of the sixth to take an 8-4 lead. Gonzalez led off with a home run which was followed with singles by Hardy and Gomez, and a walk to Moses Vigo (Ewing, NJ/Delaware State University, DE) to load the bases with nobody out. Reyes cleared the bases with a double, was sacrificed over to third and scored the fifth run of the inning on a single by Bourp. They scored another run in the bottom of the seventh, when Joe O’Rourke (Staten Island, NY/Fairleigh Dickinson University-Teaneck, NJ) led off with a double and scored on a double by Hardy. Leading 9-4, the Clemente team was just six outs away from forcing a deciding Game Three.

But it was not to be as the Aces exploded for 11 runs over the final two innings, including an eight run ninth. In the top of the eighth, Holmes singled with one out and advanced to second on a Jack Hanley (Matinsville, NJ/Pomona-Pitzer College, CA) walk. A single by Joel Minch (Clayton, NJ/Rowan University, NJ) scored Holmes and another single by Walker plated Hanley. Minch scored on a bases loaded walk to McCourt. In the top of the ninth, the first seven Aces’ batters walked, with three of them scoring. One more run scored on a fielder’s choice before McCourt belted a grand slam to cap off the eight run outburst.

Fighting to the end, Clemente added two runs in the bottom of the ninth as Rodriguez tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly and Hardy homered, but it wasn’t enough for Clemente as they saw their season come to an end.

The Aces await the winner of the matchup between the Monmouth Monarchs and Ocean Giants, who split a doubleheader on Sunday. They will play the winner on Tuesday, August 1 in a nine- inning game at Owens Park in Williamstown at a time to be announced.