Martin Figueroa’s two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning capped off the Sussex County Miners’ comeback 7-6 Frontier League victory over the visiting New York Boulders at Skylands Stadium in Augusta, NJ, Saturday night.
The win was Sussex County’s sixth in a row, while the loss was the second straight for New York.
The Miners trailed 6-1 heading to the home half of the seventh inning. Trey Hair’s three-run home run of off Boulders’ reliever Brandon Bingel cut the Sussex County deficit to 6-4.
In the eighth, with one out, New York’s Nathan Alexander issued two walks and was relieved by Tanner Kiest, who was greeted with a broken bat infield single by Audy Ciriaco to load the bases. A passed ball allowed one run to score before Kiest struck out Hair for the inning’s second out.
However, Figueroa went the other way with a fastball and dunked the ball into left field for a single that scored Chuck Taylor and Ciriaco.
New York had the bases loaded with one out in the top of the ninth but had the tying run thrown out at the plate on a force play when a Jack Sundberg flare to right dropped in front of Taylor, who made a perfect throw to the plate to nail Zach Penprase with the inning’s second out.
The Miners’ Gavin Sonnier then got Austin Dennis to fly out to end the game.
New York jumped in front in the first inning when Milton Smith, Jr. attempted to steal second and had the throw by Miners’ catcher Willie Estrada sail into right-center field allowing the Boulders’ lead-off man to score.
Sussex County tied the game on an RBI single by Cito Culver in the second inning.
The Boulders took control with two runs in the fourth and two more in the sixth. Successive doubles by Kevonte Mitchell, Ryan Ramiz and Ray Hernandez, the latter two producing runs, gave New York a 3-1 lead. In the sixth, a sacrifice fly by Sundberg and an RBI single off the bat of Dennis, the pair increasing the visitors’ advantage to 5-1.
A run-scoring groundout by Penprase in the seventh made it a 6-1 game.
Kiest, the sixth pitcher used by New York, took the loss, while Joe Baran recorded the win for the Miners.
Sonnier, the Miners’ sixth pitcher, picked up the save.
The three-game series between the Boulders and Miners wraps up on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.
A complete New York Boulders’ 2021 schedule, as well as information regarding season tickets and packages for the 2021 season are available by calling 845-364-0009 or sliding to www.NYBoulders.com. Individual game tickets are on sale now.
Attendance at all home games at PCU Park is subject to New York State Department of Health guidelines and protocol.
Debuting in 1993, the Frontier League is the largest and longest-running of the modern independent leagues and features teams stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway. In September of 2020, the Frontier League reached an agreement to become a “Partner League” with Major League Baseball.
As a “Partner League,” the Frontier League and its teams will meet on a regular basis with MLB representatives to discuss joint marketing and promotional opportunities, as well as collaborate on initiatives to provide organized baseball to communities throughout the United States and Canada.
More information can be found at www.frontierleague.com.