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Pitcher’s Duel Turns into 6-2 loss for the Jackals

May 28, 2023
PATERSON, N.J. – There was a buzz at Hinchliffe Stadium on Saturday night that had yet to be witnessed on the corner of Liberty and Maple during this young season. Fans were quickly hanging on every pitch as eight-year major league veteran Vin Mazzaro took the hill for the New Jersey Jackals, while the Ottawa Titans countered with right hander Alec Thomas. Mazzaro, a Rutherford, New Jersey native, was perfect through 3 1/3 innings until Ottawa third baseman A.J. Wright reached base on an error committed by third baseman James Nelson. Mazzaro walked the following batter, Jason Dicochea, but continued his no-hit bid retiring the next seven batters. Wright’s single off the right field net in the top of the sixth inning broke up the no-hitter. Mazzaro pitched 5 1/3 inning of no-hit ball, with eight strikeouts.

Thomas also pitched well for the Titans. In the first inning, he gave up a leadoff single to Nelson, and did not give up a hit for the rest of his outing. On the day, Thomas turned in five innings of work giving up four walks, while striking out six Jackals.

After Mazzaro gave up his lone hit, New Jersey pitcher Dazon Cole came in relief. With two runners on, Dazon struck out Dicochea, and walked Gabe Snyder. With the bases loaded, designated hitter Jamey Smart hit the ball to left. Jackals left fielder Josh Rehwaldt fumbled with the ball a bit, then came up throwing in an attempt to nab the third runner at home, but the ball ricocheted off of Snyder’s cleat hitting home plate umpire Jonathan Lamattina in his forehead. Ottawa’s manager Bobby Brown had a clear view of the incident. “They’re taught to take their mask off, and the ball hit our runner’s foot and ricocheted right in his head,” said Brown. “He got knocked out, but I think he’s okay.”

The third run on that bizarre play would prove to be the game winner for the Titans. New Jersey mustered two runs in the sixth and seventh innings to bring them within one run, but Ottawa added three insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning to solidify the win. These two teams meet again today in the rubber match of this three-game set. First pitch is slated for 4:35 p.m.

With two home runs in last night’s game, Hinchliffe Stadium has seen 27 home runs in six games.
This is the second time in this home stand that the home plate umpire suffered an injury. During the Evansville series, home plate umpire Mike Williams took a fastball to the groin in a mix up between the pitcher and the catcher. Last night’s injury delayed the game for 22 minutes.

On Hinchliffe Stadium:
“I like it,” said Ottawa Titans manager Bobby Brown. “The turf is brand new, so it kind of gives the pitcher the chance to get the ball on the ground, it gives them an advantage. Yeah there’s a short right field, but the advantage is if you can pitch down in the zone, you can get some ground balls.”

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