Monarchs and Giants Split Opening Round Playoff Double Header

Jul 30 2017 ABCCL League News | Comments Off on Monarchs and Giants Split Opening Round Playoff Double Header

By Emily Winter

Holmdel, NJ – The Monmouth Monarchs and Ocean Giants traded wins in Sunday’s first round playoff doubleheader at St. John Vianney, setting the stage for a deciding game three on Monday.

In Game One, the Giants jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. After Rob DeSanti (Barnegat, NJ/ Caldwell College, NJ) led off with a single, Evan Pietronico (Matawan, NJ/ NJ Institute of Technology, NJ) stepped up and homered to right field. Shaking off the long ball greeting, Monarchs pitcher Ray Hughes, (Forked River, NJ/ Stockton University, NJ) recorded three consecutive strikeouts to end the top of the first.

The Monarchs answered with a homerun of their own in the first when Joseph Rotelli (Morganville, NJ/ Dominican College, NY) hit a line drive over the left field fence, closing the gap to 2-1.

Hughes continued his hot streak on the mound in the top of the second with another three more strikeouts to swiftly end the Giants at bat. Hughes threw an impressive 12 strikeouts in five innings of work.

Neither team would see any runs until the bottom of the fifth when the Monarchs tacked on four. Anthony Santoro (Manalapan, NJ/ Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ) was the spark singling to left field after one batter had been retired. David Angstadt (Glen Allen, VA/ The College of William & Mary, VA) followed suit and also singled. Santoro and Angstadt were able to advance to scoring position after Tyler Coppo (Fitzwilliam, NH/ University of Hartford, CT) drew a walk. With bases loaded, Robert Carmody (Canton, MA/ University of Hartford, CT) roped an RBI single, scoring Santoro and knotting the game at two. Isaiah Lewis (Willingboro, NJ/ Erskine College, SC) drew another walk for the Monarchs to force in Angstadt. Cid Porter (Lincroft, NJ/ Catholic University, DC) followed with a single to right, scoring Coppo and Carmody, increasing the Monarchs’ lead to 5-2.

The Giants were not going down without a fight and in the top of the sixth James Donlon (Brick, NJ/ FDU Metro) was hit by a pitch, He advanced to second after a wild pitch and scored on Dan Tricarico’s (Piscataway, NJ/ Rutgers University-Newark, NJ) line drive through the short stop hole, reducing the Monarchs’ lead to 5-3.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Monarchs retook the momentum. Alfredo (A.J.) Arias (East Brunswick, NJ/ Mercer County Community College, NJ) reached second on an error by the Giants’ center fielder and later advanced to third after Rotelli grounded out to first baseman. Frank Bilancio (Chesterfield, NJ/ Saint Edward’s University, TX) and Angstadt roped RBI singles, furthering their lead to 7-3 and gaining control of the game.

The Monarchs scored their final run of the game in the bottom of the seventh when Isaiah Hall (Burlington Township, NJ/ Lincoln University, PA) was hit by a pitch, stole second, advanced to third on an infield error, and scored on Luke Hoyl’s (Dallas, TX/ Saint Edward’s University, TX) line drive single to right field.

Limited to just five hits by the Monarchs’ pitching combination of Hughes and Zach Mason (Manahawkin, NJ/Misericordia University, PA), the Giants added their last run of Game One in the top of the eighth. DeSanti reached first on an error, advanced to second on a fielder’s choice, and scored the unearned run when the Monarchs committed their second and third errors of the inning. The final 8-4 score put the Monarchs in a favorable position entering the day’s second contest.

In Game 2, neither team could mount any offense until the Giants pushed a lone run across in the top of the third inning. Mason Marino (Brooklyn, NY/ Caldwell College, NJ) led off with a line drive single, advanced to third on Michael Chiusano’s (Middletown, NJ/ Brookdale CC, NJ) double to right field, and scored on a Quinn Krais (Maplewood NJ/ Wheaton College, MA) ground out.

Still with 1-0 lead after four, the Giants stretched their advantage to 3-0 in the fifth when Justin Bates (Brick, NJ/ Montclair State University, NJ) walked and Marino drove a long homerun over the centerfield fence.

Sitting in the driver seat, the Giants took a commanding 5-0 lead in the top of the seventh. James Manos (Freehold, NJ/ Richard Stockton University, NJ) reached first on an error and Tricarico followed with a single to right field. Another single to center by Michael Pfenninger (Flemington, NJ/ Manhattan College, NY) scored both Manos and Tricarico to boost the Giants’ lead to 5-0.

With solid control in the game, the Giants added two more runs in the ninth. After Tricarico reached second on an error, Pfenninger launched a homerun to right, sealing a 7-0 Game 2 victory.

While the Giants’ offense came to life in the Game Two win, their pitching staff was no less outstanding. The combination of James Valley (North Plainfield, NJ/Centenary College, NJ), Matt Moran (Middletown, DE/Alvernia University, PA), Steve Carbonara (Manalapan, NJ/Alvernia University, PA) and Justin Kaplan (Marlboro, NJ/Penn State-Harrisburg, PA) allowed only two hits in the shutout effort.

Looking forward to Monday’s deciding game, Giuseppe Papaccio, Head Coach for the Giants, stated that “If we expect to win we need to continue to pitch well and play solid defense, because that’s the key to keeping their run total down. We have been swinging the bat well, so hopefully that transfers over to tomorrow.”

Game 3 will be played on Monday, July 31 at St. John Vianney at 5 PM, with the winner advancing to the next round in the playoffs.