|South Jersey Baseball:
'Sharks Get Run Over By Atlantic City in Expressway Series 11-2
Friday, August 16, 2002
By David W. Unkle
SJSports Staff Writer
At least it started out good for Camden (21-12); Dwight Maness' inside-the-park homer with two away in the home first got Camden on the board early. That is no easy feat for the Riversharks who are struggling in the sweltering heat of August. The 'Sharks punch-less .230 batting average this month is compounded by the fact that they are hitting at a lowly .217 clip against the Surf (25-8). Scoring first is usually a good omen for Camden; the team owns a league-best 38-7 record when putting the first runs on the board. Even more impressive though was Atlantic City's record of 12-1 in August games. The third inning changed one's perspective on both of those statistics.
Starter Pedro Flores (4-4) faced 16 batters in his 2.2 innings of work. Unlike the walk-fest of last night's game, Flores was able to find the plate in his short stint. Unfortunately for the 'Sharks, the Atlantic City batters were just waiting to rope a pitch to an unoccupied spot at Campbell's Field. By the time the third inning was over, the game shifted from a 1-0 Camden lead to an 8-1 Atlantic City lead and Flores was in the showers by himself. It is frustrating because we know that we need these games against [Atlantic City], said Flores...I tried to do my best but it was a poor effort tonight. The damage could have been much worse; Atlantic City stranded ten runners in the game thanks to some great defense by the 'Sharks.
The Surf's Pito Ramirez and Victor Gutierrez were the offensive stars of the night for the visitors. Ramirez went 4-5 with three runs scored and one RBI while leadoff hitter Gutierrez went 3-5 with five RBI. Fourteen different Riversharks amounted for five hits on the night with no batter getting more than one. The score was 11-1 when Camden's Creighton Gubanich's leadoff homer in the bottom of the seventh led to the final score.
Atlantic City widens their lead over second-place Camden to four games as they begin to widen the gap in the South Division. With the Somerset Patriots and the Newark Bears going a combined 4-16 in their last twenty games, Surf Manager Mitch Williams has reason to be excited about Atlantic City's predicament. When you play hard good things happen, said Williams. We have good pitching, our defense has been better and we're hitting the crap out of the ball...I knew we had ability; it was just a matter of them going out and proving it every night...when you come to the ballpark knowing you are going to win, it makes a different atmosphere here.
Kevin Dougherty takes the hill tomorrow night against David Carroll and the Division-leading Atlantic City Surf. Camden is 1-3 on this important home stand and are looking to pick up some ground on the Surf. The Bridgeport Bluefish come to town for three games beginning Monday as the Riversharks close out a nine-game home stand.