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Updated: September 16, 2018
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(Story by Marco Stoovelaar)

Kalian Sams and Québec dethroned as CanAm-Champion

AUGUSTA, Sussex County, New Jersey (USA) - Kalian Sams and Les Capitales de Québec were dethroned as Champion of the Canadian American Association (CanAmLeague) on Saturday-evening (September 15). In Game 4 of the best-of-five Championship Series, Québec led 5-3 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and appeared to force a fifth and deciding game on Sunday. However, a 3-run walk-off homerun gave opponent Sussex County Miners a 6-5 victory. With that, the American squad won the Series 3-1 to win its first title, since being founded in 2014. Sams was 0-for-5 in Game 4.

Manager of Sussex County is Bobby Jones, who played six seasons as lefthanded pitcher in the Major League (1997-2000, 2002, 2004) for Colorado Rockies, New York Mets, San Diego Padres and Boston Red Sox.

On Wednesday-evening, Québec lost the opener, 7-3. The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but then rained out. Québec then won Game 2 on Thursday, 4-3. Sussex County re-took the lead in the Series by winning 7-6 on Friday.

At Skylands Stadium, Québec got on the board first, scoring two runs in the top of the second inning. Zach Wilson led off with a single and Nick Van Stratten followed with a double. The bases then got loaded when Brad Antchak walked. Hereafter, the score was opened on a sacrifice fly by Yordan Manduley, then a run was scored on a single by David Salgueiro.

Sussex Miners got one run back in its second at bat on an one-out double by Christian Correa.

Québec then took more distance by adding another run in the third and fourth inning.

In the third, TJ White led off with a homerun. Hereafter, Kalian Sams drove the ball into deep rightfield, but it was caught.

In the fourth, with one out, Brad Antchak doubled. He moved to third base on a single by Yordan Manduley, then the bases got loaded when David Salgueiro walked. With two outs, TJ White walked to bring in Antchak. With the bases still loaded, Québec got a chance to add more runs, as powerhitter Kalian Sams was the next hitter. However, this time, Sams struckout.

In the bottom of the sixth, Sussex County cut the deficit in half when Martin Figueroa led off with a homerun.

In the seventh, the Miners got another scoring opportunity with two outs and added a run. Jared McDonald led off with a walk. With one out, he was forced out on a grounder by Mikey Reynolds. The latter moved on a single by Audy Ciriaco, which led to a pitching change. Brett Lee took over from starter Bobby Blevins, who had thrown some solid innings, despite giving up nine basehits. Moments later, Reynolds stole third base, then scored when Daniel Mateo singled to make it a 4-3 score, before the inning ended wiht a flyout. In the eighth, the Miners stranded another runner in scoring position.

Québec added an important insurance run in the top of the ninth when Nick Van Stratten homered with two outs to make it a 5-3 score. However, moments later, it proved that was not enough!

In the bottom of the ninth inning, closer Trevor Bayless took the mound for Québec. He got two quick outs, but then gave up a single to Audy Ciriaco. That brought up Daniel Mateo, one of the most productive hitters on the Miners-site. He hit a hard grounder towards second base, which ended in an infield-hit, as second baseman TJ White was just unable to get hold of it. With runners on first and second base, Martin Figueroa was the next hitter, who was 3-for-4 in this game, including a homerun. The 22-year old third baseman went for the pitch he saw and drove the ball over the fence for a WALK-OFF, 3-RUN HOMERUN!

With that, Sussex County Miners won the game 6-5 and the Series 3-1 to become the CanAmLeague Champion!

(September 15)

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