Friday, July 28, 2006

Cyclones Get Better Of Baby Bombers In Sloppily Played Game

STATEN ISLAND, NY -It wasn't pretty but the Cyclones will take it. In a sloppily played error-filled game, Brooklyn (19-17) cameback to defeat the Baby Bombers (23-14) 10-6 before a near capacity crowd of 6,505 at Richmond County Ball Park Friday night- snapping Staten Island's four-game win streak.

In it, the Verrazano rivals combined for seven errors, four wild pitches and three hit batsmen. Ultimately, the difference might have been that the Cyclones made less mistakes to take the first of a home-and-home series which concludes later tonight at Keyspan Park.

"I thought both teams were swinging the bats well. It was just a matter of who was going to line into more outs...The pitchers got the ball up a little bit and it showed," said skipper George Greer.

Brooklyn got to starter Rolando Japa right away, touching him up for two runs in the first. After centerfielder Joe Holden ledoff with a double, the first sloppy play took place when second baseman Wilmer Pino booted a Jon Schemmel grounder in the hole- allowing Holden to come around from third for the game's first run. A Japa wild pitch moved Schemmel to second. He eventually came around to score on a Jason Jacobs RBI ground out.

Staten Island got a run back in the third on a two out solo homer to right by right fielder Seth Fortenberry. It was his fourth of the season.

The Cyclones came right back with two more in the fourth. With Mark Wright on second via an opposite field double, shortstop Luis Rivera came through with a two out double inside the third base line to score Wright. That's when Rivera took advantage of some awful D to come around and score. With him going for second, left fielder Brian Aragon's throw went into right. Fortenberry's attempted peg at third air mailed into the dugout, giving Rivera home for Brooklyn's fourth run.

But up 4-1, starter Jake Ruckle was unable to hold it. He allowed a two-run single to Aragon which cut it to one. After retiring the final three batters with two on, his defense let him down in the fifth. With Pino on after being plunked, Kevin Smith's routine grounder was booted by Schemmel to put the first two on. They advanced to scoring position on a Kyle Larsen ground out. Ruckle then intentionally walked Colin Curtis to load the bases for Tim O'Brien.

It looked like the strategy would work when he got a comebacker but instead of taking his time, the Brooklyn starter threw wildly allowing Pino to tie the game and knock him out of the game. With the bases still juiced, Greer opted for lefty Rip Warren. Brought into a tough situation, the reliever fanned Aragon on three straight breaking pitches. Before he struckout Brian Baisley to end the threat, Warren uncorked a wild pitch which allowed Smith to put the Baby Bombers in front 5-4.

Trailing for the first time, the Cyclones immediately responded by greeting S.I. reliever Justin Keadle (0-2) with four consecutive hits. With the bases loaded, a Rivera infield single tied the game. Keadle's bad luck continued when he opted to go home on a slow Holden roller, which never had a chance permitting Wright to put Brooklyn back on top. It was his final batter.

Reliever Luke Trubee induced Schemmel to ground into a 4-6-3 double play, scoring Tim Grogan to make it 7-5. The Cyclones weren't done though thanks to Dustin Martin's runscoring single to center, giving them a three-run lead.

"It was a great win. Definitely a confidence booster," third baseman Ivan Naccaratta said after going 2-for-4. "We always got to come out and be ready to play. Get the job done...We were swinging the bats pretty well. The good thing is we had guys on base. The bottom line is we got them in and that's what counts."

Up three, Warren tossed two scoreless frames to shutdown the Bomber attack- working 2.2 innings without allowing a run and punching out three to notch his first win of the season.

"[Warren] came in and did a yeoman's job. He got all the hitters he's supposed to get out," praised Greer. "Unfortunately he had that one wild pitch but he was trying to make sure that the ball was down and he didn't get the ball up. Unfortunately it got by [Jacobs] but it worked out for the best."

Brooklyn tacked on two more in the eighth thanks to a botched double play by Pino for his second error and Staten Island's fourth of the night.

Even though they led by five, the Cyclones weren't satisfied until Joe Smith recorded the final out. After the Bombers cut it to 10-6 on a Rivera throwing error, Smith got Aragon on a grounder to second, finally ending a game which lasted two hours 55-minutes.

Notes: Cyclones DH Wright was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and Rivera finished a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBI's and three runs scored. ... In a losing effort, S.I. RF Fortenberry was 3-for-5 with a homer and DH Larsen was two-for-four with two runs scored. ... When the game concluded, fireworks were set off for 10 minutes as part of the Baby Bombers' Friday night promotion. ... After facing Brooklyn Saturday, Staten Island returns home to St. George Sunday against Hudson Valley (4 PM).

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