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Monday, May 27, 2024

Miners Aim to Make Up Ground Against Jackals This Week

Miners’ starter faced 20 batters and nailed a base-runner at second in the first inning. Photo by
Joe Phalon, 7/2023.

The Sussex County Miners begin a four-game series with the New Jersey Jackals Tuesday, August 1st, hoping to break through the log jam at the top of the Frontier League Eastern Division.

The 37-26 Miners headed into the July All-Star Break having ruled the division holding on to first place for the first half of the season.

But in the following two weeks they dropped to fourth place, 3.5 games behind the Tri-City Alley Cats of Troy, New York, who’ve won seven straight going into tonight.

Despite all this, the Miners have won eight of their last nine and have a chance to overtake the Jackals this week, beginning with a double-header at historic Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson.

Juan Santana completes his home-run trot. Photo by Joe Phalon, 7/2023.

After another game on the Jackals’ turf on Wednesday, both teams will return to Skylands Stadium for the fourth game.

After a come-from-behind win against the Gateway Grizzlies of Sauget, Illinois, on July 23rd, Miners Manager Chris Widger said he hoped that win would provide the boost the team needed.

Reliever Freisis Adames notched the win against the Grizzlies July 23. Photo by Joe Phalon,

“We were able to string those hits together,” Widger said. “We got the walks and then we got the big hits.”

That win, the third in a row, continued for five more wins until the Miners fell to the Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Aigles July 30th.

Despite the fall from first, which is more a reflection of opponents getting better than the Miners slipping—they do have that eight-game winning streak going for them—Widger said he is not shaking up the lineup.

“You know, we’ve stuck with pretty much the same team the whole year,” Widger said. “We played with very little change. They get along, they pull for each other and that’s the kind of thing you’re happy about. We may not have the biggest talent, but they play well together.”

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.