The Cumberland County College Dukes faced off against a familiar foe on Tuesday afternoon, the Jersey Blues of Brookdale Community College. As we enter the final month of the season, every inning is now crucial as the focus shifts from the regular season to the postseason. In a game that featured two top-tier programs, the difference could come down to a single inning in every game. That certainly was the case in the opening game of the regular season series between Brookdale and Cumberland.
In game 1, Anthony Capasso took the mound to face Brookdale for the first time in his career. Brookdale came out hot as they were to cross the plate 5 times in the first two innings to take an early 5-0 lead into the bottom of the 3rd. The Dukes would cut into the lead scoring 2 runs in the inning before the Jersey Blues would open up the 4th inning with a 5 run scoring surge. Fundamental hitting and defensive miscues would doom the Dukes in the inning as the lead stretched to 12-2. The Cumberland offense would not go down without a fight as they were scratch a run in every inning while pounding out 14 total hits. Led by Nicholas Milhan (2 for 3, 2 2B), Donnie Stone (2 for 3), Patrick Meenan (2 for 3), and Brian Gallante (2 for 2), the Dukes proved that they were capable of fighting back. Shawn Vazquez also added a late inning home run to cut the deficit to 12-6. However, as mentioned prior, the 5-run 4th inning would prove to be the difference as the Dukes would fall in game 1, 12-6.
Game 2 flipped the script as it was the Dukes who came out swinging. Led by Misael Castillo (3 for 3, 3 R, 1 RBI) and Nicholas Milhan (3 for 3, 2 R, 2 RBI) the Dukes were able to jump out to an early 6-2 lead. A bases clearing double by Donnie Stone (1 for 4, 3 RBI) would stretch that lead to 9-2 in the bottom of the 3rd, a lead that would swell to 13-2 heading into the bottom of the 6th. Unfortunately the momentum would be slowed by mother nature as the game would be halted due to darkness.
The game will be resumed prior to the series finale at Brookdale, which will be played on Monday, April 23. First pitch time TBD.