Pomona, NY – Jackals drop heartbreaker in game 3. With a final score of Boulders-4 and Jackals-3, New Jersey continues to lead the series 2-1.
The Jackals were four outs away from taking a commanding 3-0 lead in the Can-Am LCS, but the Rockland Boulders had other plans. The Boulders figured out the Jackal bullpen tying the game on a RBI single by Carlos Guzman in the eighth, and winning it on a RBI single by Matt Nandin in the ninth; stealing a 5-4 decision.
After falling behind 3-0, the Jackals meticulously worked their way back into the contest, and, as usual Joe Dunigan was in the middle of it. Dunigan’s opposite field 2-run home run over the bleachers in left brought the Jackals back to within a single run, 3-2 in the third inning, igniting the Jackals bench.
Soon New Jersey found a way to tie the game when Jon Talley lined a double off the batters eye in center field to drive in Tony Caldwell, knotting the game up at three.
Jeff Shields making his first start since an oblique injury on August 26 was solid. He gave the Jackals five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. After giving up three runs in the second inning, Shields shut down the Boulders over his final three innings of work.
Soon the game became a battle of the bullpens, with the game remaining deadlocked at three heading into the eighth.
In the top half of the inning, Jose Cuevas lined a single to right, stole second, and made his way to third on a sacrifice by Caldwell. Two batters later, Steve Nikorak drove in Cuevas with the go-ahead run on a ground out to make it 4-3.
Unfortunately, the Jackals bullpen couldn’t keep that lead. Shaun Ellis was cruising through the eighth inning until he met Carlos Guzman. Guzman lined a 1-2 pitch into center field deep enough to score Ryan Stovall rounding third, tying the game at four.
Finally in the bottom of the ninth, Joe Calfapietra decided to bring in his long man Anthony Ferrara into the game, and the lefty was greeted rudely when Giuseppe Papaccio doubled to left on the first pitch he saw. With the Jackals infield drawn in, former Jackal, Matt Nandin lined an easy game-winning base hit over the head of Richard Arias at second to drive in Papaccio.
The Jackals (2-1) will turn to Keith Bilodeau tomorrow night against Jackal nemesis Joey Donino for Game 4. This will prove to be a huge swing game in the series, as the Jackals could either take a 3-1 lead, or the Boulders could tie the series up at two a piece.
The New Jersey Jackals, proud members of the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball, play their home games at Yogi Berra Stadium located on the campus of Montclair State University in Little Falls, N.J. Group Tickets, Season Tickets, and Mini Plans are now on sale. Visit the Jackals online at www.jackals.com, and interact with the team on Facebook and Twitter at www.facebook.com/jackalsbaseball and @JackalsBaseball.