ORANGE, NJ – The Monte Irvin Giants baseball team, based in Orange, finished runner-up to the Greensboro (N.C.) Bison in the 2019 MJBL Inner City Classic held July 30 through Aug. 4 in Richmond, Va.
The championship game was a hard-fought affair, but in the end, the Bison outlasted the Giants by a score of 13-9.
“We hit the ball really well, but made a few mistakes and mental errors that cost us the championship game,” said Wally Boyett, Monte Irvin head coach. “It looked like we were a little spent having played five games in the three days leading up to the championship game. But our kids played well in the tournament with a lot of grit and determination.”
After going 2-2 in pool play games, Monte Irvin entered the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the western division. In the first quarterfinal game on Saturday, Aug. 3, the Giants defeated Detroit, 7-5.
In the semifinal game, directly after the quarterfinals, the Giants beat Rocky Mount, N.C., 7-5, to secure their place in the championship game. “Saturday was a good day for us,” said Boyett. “We hit the ball well all day and played really good defense.”
For the tournament, Miguel Cerda (.619 batting average, 8 RBI, 4 runs, 2 doubles); Aaron Puryear (.556, 7 RBI, 5 runs 3 doubles); Expedi Mendoza (.476, 6 runs, 4 RBI, 11 stolen bases, 4 doubles) and Max Morillo (.438, 3 runs, 2 RBI) led the Giants’ offensive attack.
“We had great chemistry with this team,” said Boyett. “In addition to playing some great baseball, we had a team bowling outing, which everyone really enjoyed. Other nights, players just relaxed at the hotel pool.”
In all, Monte Irvin should be proud of what they accomplished, finishing in second place out of 10 teams from around the country. Great Job GIANTS!!
Photos Courtesy of Wally Boyett