Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Baisley's Big Night Sparks Baby Bombers Over Crosscutters, Move Into First

STATEN ISLAND, NY -The Baby Bombers were sparked to their 11th win in 12 by an unlikely source. Catcher Brian Baisley fell one hit short of the cycle in Staten Island's 5-4 win over Williamsport before 2,871 at Richmond County Ball Park Tuesday night.

Combined with the Ironbirds' 4-1 loss at Batavia, the red hot Baby Bombers moved into first place in the McNamara Division- improving to 17-11 on the year.

The victory wouldn't have been possible without the big bat of Baisley, who was the hitting star on a muggy night.

"I don't play that often," Baisley said after finishing 3-for-3 with a homer and two RBI's. He entered having only appeared in five games with four hits in 16 at bats.

"I'll take what I can get."

The weather would help play a role in the backstop's first at bat. Trailing by two runs in the second, left fielder Jon Poterson worked a two out walk. With Poterson on first, Baisley drove what looked like a routine fly ball to center but the wind pushed it about 15 feet off the right field fence for an RBI triple to cut the deficit in half.

After a Daniel Rios RBI ground out increased Williamsport's lead back to two, Staten Island came right back with a three run outburst in the third.

Rightfielder Seth Fortenberry ledoff the frame with a solo homer to right to make it 3-2. The Baby Bombers would also take advantage of Williamsport starter Patrick Bresnehan's (0-4) error which allowed Wilmer Pino to reach. After Mitch Hilligoss executed a perfect hit and run single to put runners on the corners, Kyle Larsen followed with an RBI single to tie the score. It was Larsen's NY-Penn League leading 27th baseknock. First baseman Kevin Smith grounded into a 6-4-3 double play which allowed Hilligoss to score, giving Staten Island its first lead.

Baisley would add some insurance in the fourth with a one out solo shot to left which increased the margin to 5-3.

After some splendid relief work by Paul Patterson (2-0) and Jonathan Hovis, Baisley came up again in the seventh and continued his perfect night by ripping a single to left. With a triple, homer and single, the backstop needed just a double to hit for the cycle.

But the final at bat never came thanks to another scoreless inning from Hovis before turning things over to Nick Peterson. The closer scattered a run before saving his seventh game by getting Jared Keel to line out to third baseman Tim O'Brien to strand the tying run at third.

"My teammates told me about it," the pleased Baisley pointed out.

"It was fun."

Notes: Tim Norton started but struggled by giving up three runs, hitting two batters and throwing three wild pitches. Despite that, he went the first four and struckout seven, finishing strong by fanning two in his final inning of work. ... Before hosting Williamsport in Game 2 tonight at St. George, the Staten Island Yankees will honor the late Roberto Clemente by handing out a drawing of Clemente to the first 2,500 spectators.


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