The Staten Island Yankees (20-17) were able to complete the sweep of the Jamestown Jammers (15-20) on Monday afternoon with a 2-1 win, completing a six-game homestand in which the team finished 5-1. With 20 wins, the Baby Bombers are now the fourth team in the New York-Penn League to get to 20 wins on the season. On the mound, the story was the 18th round pick in the 2014 draft, former Alabama pitcher Justin Kamplain.
Kamplain threw four perfect innings against Jamestown, striking out five batters in his outing on just 45 pitches. With this dominant start, Kamplain improved his ERA on the season to 0.53 in seven appearances and has given up just one hit in his last eight innings, striking out 11 as both a starter and reliever. There was a stretch in the second and third inning where the former Crimson Tide pitcher struck out four consecutive hitters. I talked to Kamplain after the game about whether or not his experience in the SEC has helped him at the professional level so far.
“Fastball command and keeping it down in the zone. It’s a lot tougher for the hitter to be comfortable in there if he’s behind in the count,” said Kamplain, who also told me after the game that his favorite pitcher to watch is current Philadelphia Phillies’ starter, Cole Hamels.
Manager Mario Garza also talked about Kamplain’s dominant outing this afternoon and what he has seen from him in his first few games on Staten Island:
“He’s a guy who can throw any pitch at any count,” replied Garza. “I don’t think guys pick up the ball all that well off of him. He has been tremendous.”
For the third straight game, the Baby Bombers scored first. Designated hitter Isaias Tejeda started the inning with a single to increase his hitting streak to 16 games and would advance to second on a wild pitch. Then, with two outs, right fielder Nathan Mikolas would score Tejeda on a single to center field for the game’s first run.
In the bottom of the third inning, Staten Island started the inning with a walk by Brady Steiger and singles by Jake Anderson and Vicente Conde to load the bases. Then, catcher Luis Torrens extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a RBI single to left field that scored Anderson to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
Both runs were scored against Jamestown starter, Frank Duncan (1-2, 4.55). Duncan gave up those two runs on five hits in three innings, striking out five and walking one in the loss.
Luis Niebla would enter the game for Staten Island in the top of the fifth inning and lose the team’s perfect game when Jamestown designated hitter and Staten Island native, Kevin Krause, hit a ground-rule double down the left field line. Krause would end up being stranded at second in the inning. Niebla would get in jams in the sixth and seventh innings, but would keep the Jammers off the board by inducing inning-ending double plays.
Jamestown would finally get a run on the board in the top of the eighth. Niebla would be taken out of the game with one out and runners on the corners for reliever Tim Giel. On Giel’s first batter, he would throw a wild pitch that allowed David Andriese to score, cutting the lead to 2-1. Even with the wild pitch, Giel would retire the last five batters of the game to record his first save of the season. Niebla (2-0, 3.18) would pick up the win by throwing 3.1 innings, giving up one run on four hits, striking out three and walking two.
Staten Island will look to continue their win streak when they begin a home-and-home series with the Hudson Valley Renegades on Tuesday night in Hudson Valley. The Renegades, at 26-10, are the leaders in the McNamara division and are seven games ahead of the Baby Bombers in the standings.