Whenever the New Jersey Jackals and Sussex County Miners face off, it shouldn't come as a surprise to see some wild baseball action. This latest edition of the Battle of New Jersey was no exception as the Jackals ultimately split a four-game series with their in-state rivals.
Jackals Take First Game of Doubleheader in Rout
The series would begin with a doubleheader on July 13 to make up for a rainout on June 3. Justin Wylie continued his hot hitting in this one, crushing a two-run home run in the bottom of the second inning, his second homer in as many days and his fourth of the season. He finished this game going 2-for-2 with four RBIs. In the last three games, Wylie is 6-for-9 with two home runs and eight RBIs.
Sussex County would tie the game in the top of the third plating two runs. However, Chris Carpio would give the Jackals the lead back, lining one opposite field to right for a bases-clearing, three-run triple. Since Santiago Chirino went on personal leave on July 8, Carpio has been filling in at shortstop. In five games since manning the shortstop role, Carpio has gotten a hit in four of those five games. New Jersey wouldn't look back from that, as they went on to rout the Miners by a final score of 9-3.
Jackals Drop Second Game of Doubleheader Amid Controversial Umpiring
New Jersey jumped ahead quickly in the second game of the doubleheader, scoring two in the bottom of the first on a Justin Wylie single and an Alfredo Marte double. Unfortunately for the Jackals, those would be the only runs they scored this ballgame. Furthermore, there was some controversy regarding to the umpiring, as both Brooks Carey and T.J. Ward were ejected in the bottom of the fourth following arguing balls and strikes.
"It was kind of soft the way Brooks got thrown out cause he didn't swear or anything," said Dylan Brammer. "He just disagreed with the call. With T.J. I didn't hear what was said, but he's a guy that keeps it pretty cool so honestly it kind of helped us with momentum I think. It kind of shifted in our way so yeah I think that was positive for us."
The Miners would go on to score four unanswered runs in this one. Audy Ciriaco, Joey Rose, and Chuck Taylor, all hit solo home runs along with an one-run single by Martin Figueroa. Sussex County took the second game of the doubleheader 4-2, giving New Jersey a split on the day.
Tessitore Bounces Back in Jackals Win
Chris Tessitore took the mound for the Jackals in the third game of the series on July 31. The last time Tessitore started a game at Yogi Berra Stadium was June 1 against these same Sussex County Miners. In that game, he struggled mightily, allowing seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. This time around was a completely different story, as Tessitore pitched a very strong five innings of one-run ball while striking out seven.
"Definitely a confidence booster for sure," said on his outing. "Making sure that they know and I know that I can get anybody out on any given day. Really just trying to do my job and stay consistent and now we've just gotta roll with it."
As far as the Jackals bats were concerned, they ultimately ended up putting this one out of reach early, scoring ten runs in the first three innings. Jason Agresti had a big game going 2-for-5 with a two-run home run in the second, his fourth of the season. Dalton Combs had a solid night at the plate as well, going 3-for-5 with a two-run home run in the third, his second of the season. New Jersey would roll on to take this game by a final of 12-7.
Miners Win Slugfest Amid Controversy With Fans
Controversy erupted in the rubber game of the series on July 15 as a brawl between players and fans nearly broke out in the top of the seventh inning following fans pouring beer into the Sussex County Miners dugout and onto the players. Several players from both teams jumped on top of the dugout and had to be restrained. The fans responsible were tossed from the game and the seats behind the Jackals dugout were cleared.
Controversy as players from the Miners and Jackals have to be restrained after fans apparently poured beer into the Miners dugout. The fans responsible have been tossed from the game and the section behind the Miners dugout has been cleared. #GetJacked #JerseySports pic.twitter.com/V4gzbS3Rr1
— Adam Grassani (@AGrassani6) July 16, 2021
"I mean when it comes to it, the number one thing is making sure that the players, not even just us, but on both sides, were all safe," said Jackals outfielder Demetrius Moorer on the incident. "Then you go further and make sure the fans are safe. I don't have anything to comment on it cause I don't know what happened but at the end of the day I'm glad everything was under control and we were able to handle it."
As far as the game itself, it was a slugfest with 29 total runs being scored. Jackals closer Dylan Brammer was in the lineup today as the designated hitter. He finished the game going 2-for-5, including a RBI single in the bottom of the second. Demetrius Moorer had a big game at the plate as well, going 2-for-4 with 4 RBI, including a three run home run in the bottom of the second. Moorer's second homer of the season gave the Jackals a 7-5 lead through two innings.
However, the Miners would ultimately respond in a big way, scoring ten more runs throughout the duration of the game. Michael Figueroa ultimately gave Sussex County the lead for good with a three-run home run in the top of the sixth. Figueroa finished the game going 3-for-5 with five RBI on the way to the Miners winning this one 15-14.
The New Jersey Jackals currently stand with a record of 21-20 on the season, second place in the Northeast Division and six games behind the Sussex County Miners for first place. The Jackals homestand continues on July 16 when they begin a three-game series against the Washington Wild Things at 11:05 a.m. EST.