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Skunks Win On Home-Field Hop

Matranga’s Single In 9th Sends Jamestown To Win Over Auburn

Jamestown’s Austin Matranga celebrates with teammates Friday night after his bad-hop RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning sent the Tarp Skunks to a 4-3 victory over Auburn at Diethrick Park. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

Jamestown has won three of four games since Ryan Hill took over as manager of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League team earlier this week.

Friday night’s victory is undoubtedly its most improbable.

Austin Matranga’s routine grounder with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning took a crazy hop over Auburn second baseman Aedan Forde’s head that allowed Henry Juan to scamper home with the winning run, sending the Tarp Skunks to a wild 4-3 come-from-behind victory at Diethrick Park.

Jamestown, which trailed 3-2 heading into its last at-bat, improved to 7-8 on the season, making a winner of reliever Shaniel Maldonado (2-0), the last of three Tarp Skunks’ hurlers.

James Sill (0-1) took the loss in relief for the Doubledays, who dropped to 9-6.

Jamestown’s Tommy Schroeder slides home safely against Auburn in Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League action on Friday at Diethrick Park. P-J photo by Scott Kindberg

The rally was particularly gratifying for Hill, who took over the reins following the resignation of Ben Julian on Monday. Since then, Jamestown has posted wins over Niagara Falls, Elmira and now Auburn, the latter victory setting off quite an on-field celebration.

Following is how the bottom of the ninth went down:

Tommy Schroeder and Juan drew back-to-back walks off Sill, who then struck out Steven Scarfone for the first out. Noah Brooks was issued another free pass to load the bases and then Nigel Sebastianelli — hustling down the line — avoided a game-ending double play, allowing Schroeder to score the tying run.

That brought Matranga to the plate.

The Grand Canyon University product, who had singled and scored a run in the sixth inning, tapped a ball to the right side of the infield where Auburn’s Forde was primed to make an easy play to send the game into extra innings, but somehow the ball hit something in the dirt and it caromed into right field, allowing Juan to score.

Matranga finished with two hits, including the game winner, while Sebastianelli, DJ Stoianovich and Juan drove in a run apiece.

Tarp Skunks’ starting pitcher Brady Wright worked into the fifth inning and allowed all three runs; Griffin White came on and pitched 2 1/3 innings of two-hit ball; and Maldonado closed it out with two scoreless innings.

Bradley Soto Diaz had three hits, and Fernando Espinal added two, including a two-run double, for the Doubledays.

Jamestown is off today, but will return to action for a Sunday doubleheader at Diethrick Park. The games are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

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