South Jersey Baseball:
Friday, September 22, 2006
By Denny Watson
ATLANTIC CITY - The Atlantic City Surf clinched an Atlantic League playoff berth via a 4-2 victory over the Newark Bears Friday night at Bernie Robbins Stadium on Arturo Gatti bobblehead night.
Atlantic City's victory coupled with Camden's 9-0 loss to Long Island put the Surf in the playoffs for the third straight year under manager Jeff Ball.
The team has also made the playoffs for the fourth time in the last six years under the watch of Surf vice president of baseball operations Mario Perrucci. The club also made the playoffs under the first year of general manager Greg Lynch's tenure.
Ball became the second manager in Atlantic League history to lead his team into the playoffs in his first three seasons; Willie Upshaw also did it for Bridgeport in his first three seasons from 1998-2001.
It was Joe Jiannetti's two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning that broke a tie at two and propelled the team into the playoffs, which open Tuesday night at Bernie Robbins Stadium against the Lancaster Barnstormers. Games two and three(if necessary) of the best-of-3 series will be played at Clipper Magazine Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday night.
The Surf's second half record is now 34-27; the Newark Bears are 21-39.
Dario Delgado and Melvin Rosario each had RBIs for Atlantic City.
Atlantic City's Jeff Blitstein, 2-1, got the victory for the Surf. Jamie Tricoglou picked up his third save of the season for the Surf.
Shaun Babula took the loss for Newark.
The two teams play again Saturday night at Bernie Robbins Stadium. A post-game fireworks show will follow the game and it will also be Prostate Cancer Awareness Night.