Photos: Phil Hoops
The 2019 Can-Am League Finals begin Tuesday evening with the league’s best-hitting squad facing its stingiest pitching staff. The New Jersey Jackals and Sussex County Miners advanced through their respective semifinal rounds to meet for the first time in a playoff series.
It also marks the first time in league history two teams from the same state or province have met in the finals, and just the second playoff series to have this happen (Brockton vs. Pittsfield, ’10 semifinals).
The Miners were 11-7 against New Jersey in 2019 regular-season play, and have gone 24-12 when facing the Jackals over the past two seasons.
About the Miners
Defending champion Sussex County, which put forth the league’s lowest regular-season team ERA (3.60) en route to the best record in the Can-Am for the second straight season, polished off the fourth-seeded Rockland Boulders, 3 games to 1, in the semifinals. The Miners’ offense and speed took charge in the series, as the team hit .371 with 13 stolen bases in the four games. 3B Jarred Mederos led the way by going 9-for-15 (.600) with seven RBI through the four games, while 3B/OF Mikey Reynolds went 8-for-16 (.500) with four stolen bases. On the mound, Sussex County’s starters were characteristically strong, with Frank Duncan, Andrew Gist and David Palladino each earning a win and combining to allow just four earned runs over 21 innings.
About the Jackals
After leading the league with a .278 batting average in the regular season, the Jackals earned a hard-fought 3 games to 2 victory in their semifinal series against the Trois-Rivières Aigles, a rematch of the 2015 finals. 2B Nelson Ward led the way on offense, going 7-for-16 (.438), while C Richard Stock tallied four extra-base hits in the series (2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR). Meanwhile, August’s Pitcher of the Month RHP Brendan Butler continued his solid work into the postseafson, throwing seven shutout innings in New Jersey’s 3-0 Game 1 victory.
Sussex County Miners (#1 seed, 61-33 in regular season) vs. New Jersey Jackals (#3 seed, 48-46 in regular season)
Tuesday, September 10 at New Jersey, 7:05 – Frank Duncan (SC) vs. Brendan Butler (NJ)
Wednesday, September 11 at New Jersey, 7:05 – TBA (SC) vs. Eduard Reyes (NJ)
Friday, September 13 at Sussex County, 7:05 – Justin Brantley (NJ) vs. TBA (SC)
Saturday, September 14 (if necessary) at Sussex County, 6:05 – Lendy Castillo (NJ) vs. TBA (SC)
Sunday, September 15 (if necessary) at Sussex County, 4:05
- Head-to-head in 2019: Sussex County won series, 11-7
- At Skylands Stadium: Sussex County won series, 6-3
- At Yogi Berra Stadium: Sussex County won series, 5-4
- Miners in 2018 vs. Jackals: .237 BA, 91 runs scored, 3.27 ERA
- Jackals in 2019 vs. Miners: .269 BA, 77 runs scored, 4.55 ERA
- Previous playoff match-ups:
All finals games will be available to watch live for free at CanAmLeague.tv.