OCEAN CITY — It might be difficult to find a hotter Cape-Atlantic League hitter than Jordan Sweeney.
A day after slugging a pair of home runs in a win over Oakcrest, the Egg Harbor Township sophomore went 3 for 5 with two doubles and five RBIs to pace the Eagles to an 8-2 victory over Ocean City on Thursday.
“He’s just hitting the ball hard right now,” EHT coach Bryan Carmichael said. “He loves playing the game, and he’s having a lot of fun.”
Sweeney had the game’s biggest hit in the fourth inning, when he lined a pitch into the gap in left-center field with the bases loaded for a three-run double. The hit turned a 2-1 EHT deficit into a 4-2 lead.
“I was just trying to hit the ball hard and make something happen,” Sweeney said. “The pitch was in the middle of the plate, and I was able to drive it in the gap.”
In the sixth, Sweeney followed Andrew Fowler’s double with one of his own to deep center. And in the seventh, Sweeney ripped an RBI single to left.
“I’m so confident up there right now,” Sweeney said with a smile. “Everything’s looking clean to me at the moment.”
Through 15 games, Sweeney is batting .479 with and 33 RBIs. Thirteen of his 23 hits have gone for extra bases, including seven home runs.
“We saw flashes of this last year when he played for us as a freshman,” Carmichael said. “People have to remember he’s only a sophomore. But he’s really doing a lot of good things.”
Equally impressive in the victory was EHT pitcher Drew Hickman. He tossed a complete game with eight strikeouts. He gave up eight hits, but his only walk of the game came with two outs in the seventh inning. Hickman was able to get out of trouble a couple times with the help of his infield, which turned a pair of inning-ending double plays, both times with runners on first and third.
Hickman improved to 3-1.
“Drew needed to do that,” Carmichael said. “That was his best performance of the season. He was really commanding the strike zone and he attacked hitters. He wasn’t doing that as much early in the year, so it was refreshing to see him throw the ball the way he did. ”
Kyle Transue had an RBI single in the first inning, and Jayson Amoroso added an RBI single in the seventh for the Eagles (12-3), who won their fourth straight and the eighth in their last nine games.
“I couldn’t be happier,” Carmichael said. “But we also could be 15-0. In our three losses we didn’t play our best baseball at all, but then again, who does in every single game? We’ve tried to learn from the losses. We’ve talked about the mistakes and gotten better from them.”
Matt Lashley hit a two-run single in the third inning to account for all of the scoring for Ocean City (7-7). The Raiders hurt themselves with four errors. Their pitchers also walked nine and hit two other batters.
“Walks and errors doomed us,” Ocean City coach Craig Mensinger said. “And you have to give them credit because every mistake we made, they pounded us for it.
“They’re a really good team. They’re the most talented team we’ve faced so far.”
Matt Fumo went 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored for Ocean City. Parker Bristol also doubled.
Egg Harbor Township 100 401 2 – 8 8 1
Ocean City 002 000 0 – 2 8 4
2B —Sweeney 2, Fowler EHT; Bristol, Fumo OC.
WP – Hickman (3-1) 8K; B. Lashley (2-1) 2K.
Records— EHT 12-3; OC 7-7.