PLAYOFF SEMIFINALS PREVIEW: SUSSEX COUNTY-ROCKLAND

After a competitive, entertaining regular season which saw a number of records fall, the 2019 Can-Am League semifinals begin Wednesday evening with three of last season’s four playoff clubs returning, joined by the New Jersey Jackals.

Sussex County Miners (#1 seed, 61-33 in regular season) vs. Rockland Boulders (#4 seed, 43-50 in regular season)
Wednesday, September 4 at Rockland, 7:00 – TBA vs. J.D. Busfield (ROC)
Thursday, September 5 at Rockland, 7:00 – TBA vs. Jake Zokan (ROC)
Friday, September 6 at Sussex County, 7:05 – Luis Cedeno (ROC) vs. TBA
Saturday, September 7 (if necessary) at Sussex County, 6:05 – Edgar De La Rosa (ROC) vs. TBA
Sunday, September 8 (if necessary) at Sussex County, 2:05

In a matchup of the league’s top two pitching staffs, Sussex County will try to become the league’s first back-to-back champion since 2012-13. The Miners’ staff is anchored by two of the three pitchers in the league to notch double-digit victories this season, RHPs Jeff Thompson (11) and Frank Duncan (10). Sussex County also has three all-stars: league batting leader 1B Audy Ciriaco, who finished the season with a league-leading .328 average; 2B Trey Hair, third with a .324 BA, and defensive player of the year SS Cito Culver.

Rockland, appearing in the playoffs for the sixth season in a row, relies on a strong bullpen, featuring three pitchers leading the league in games pitched: RHP Nick Kennedy, whose 59 appearances broke his own league record set last season, as well as LHP James Mulry (52 G, 1.81 ERA) and RHP Tim Ponto (49 G, 3.74 ERA). Offensively, the Boulders are led by all-star DH Blake Grant-Parks, whose .327 average is third in the league, and 3B Richie Fecteau, whose 16 homers tied him for the Can-Am lead.

Sussex County had the league’s best home record in 2019 at 33-17, while Rockland was 25-24 at home.

  • Head-to-head in 2019: Sussex County won season series, 12-10
  • At Skylands Stadium: Sussex County won series, 6-2
  • At Palisades Credit Union Park: Rockland won series, 8-6
  • Miners in 2019 vs. Boulders: .277 BA, 104 runs scored, 4.42 ERA
  • Boulders in 2019 vs. Miners: .242 BA, 112 runs scored, 3.88 ERA
  • Previous playoff match-ups: None.