Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bombers take second straight from Tigers

STATEN ISLAND, NY- Make it two for two.

The Staten Island Yankees made it two straight over the Oneonta Tigers by posting a 4-2 victory before 2,343 at Richmond County Bank Ballpark Tuesday night. The win was their fourth in five, putting them a season high six games over .500 (23-17) and into a tie with Lowell for the wildcard.

It also vaulted them half a game ahead of Oneonta (23-18) in what should be an exciting race for the final playoff berth in the Penn League.

"A good win for us. I think that kind of puts us back in the chase a little bit," said second baseman Damon Sublett after continuing to swing a hot bat with an RBI double in the seventh which scored Taylor Holiday for a key insurance run. "Hopefully we get on a roll from that from playing hard. Hopefully we'll keep winning."

The Baby Bombers got a solid pitching effort from the tandem of starter Chris Farley and middle reliever Craig Heyer, who each split the first eight innings allowing just one unearned run before handing the baton over to Jonathan Ortiz. After permitting a 400-plus foot leadoff home run to Oneonta's Chris Carlson to dead center off the black, the closer settled down to retire the final three batters for his sixth save.

Carlson was also involved in the Tigers' only other run which got them the lead in the fourth. The first baseman ledoff the frame with a single before advancing to second with one out on a passed ball. He then came around to score on Jorge Patino's RBI single to right to give his ballclub their only lead of the night.

Farley finished his final inning strong by getting the last two swinging. His teammates picked him up in the bottom half to tie it thanks to a clutch two out runscoring single from right fielder Matt Morris which scored backstop Jose Gil after he started things off with a single of his own before D.J. Hollingsworth sacrificed him over.

"[Morris] hadn't played last couple of games. And for him to come through like that in a big situation, that's a big deal. It's good to get contributions throughout the lineup," Sublett pointed out.

Staten Island threatened to go ahead when centerfielder Justin Snyder's infield hit put runners on the corners. However, Holiday fanned to end it.

The game wouldn't stay knotted for long though as third baseman Braedyn Pruitt connected for a two-run dinger to right off losing Oneonta starter Guillermo Moscoso (4-1) in the fifth to put the Bombers ahead for good.

"He's just been hitting all year. If he keeps doing what he's doing, he's going to make a name for himself," added Sublett whose RBI double two innings later made it eight of his last nine games with a hit.

"I'm just trying to be consistent and put some better swings on some balls and good things happen."

Notes: Despite banging out 10 hits, Staten Island stranded 16 runners while their opponents weren't much better leaving 12 on base. ... With another multi-hit game, Pruitt is now hitting .458 (27-for-59) this summer. The corner infielder hit in eight of his last nine, finishing the month of July a sizzling 15-for-33 (.455). Since returning from the DL, he's hit in eight of 10 and only was hitless once in nine starts. ... Snyder continued his hot hitting with a three hit night to lift his average to .381 (51-for-134) which places him second just four points behind Penn League leading hitter Mahoning Valley's Todd Martin. ... Heyer worked four scoreless in relief to pickup his second win. ... Bombers go for the sweep tonight before Lowell comes in for three starting tomorrow.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Bombers rally for two in the eighth to push past Tigers

STATEN ISLAND, NY- A two-run eighth inning rally was enough to get their six-game homestand started on the right foot.

Jose Gil's two out RBI single to right center scored Braedyn Pruitt for the winning run in a 3-2 comeback victory over Oneonta before 2,749 on an overcast night at Richmond County Bank Ballpark Monday night.

The win was Staten Island's third in four and improved the club to 22-17, allowing them to remain five behind first place Brooklyn. More importantly, they gained a game on Oneonta in the wildcard race to pull within half a game of the Tigers and a game behind Vermont and Lowell who are tied for first in the Stedler Division.

"That was huge. That's a big game. We needed that. These guys are one game ahead of us for the wildcard. So it's a good win," centerfielder Taylor Holiday pointed out after leading off the eighth with a bunt single down the third base line before coming around to score the tying run on a one out Pruitt RBI single to right.

"I looked horrible on the pitch earlier in that at bat. He gave me a curveball. Just stayed with it. Luckily, I managed to get one hand on it and get it out there," Pruitt said after digging out of an 0-2 hole to deliver the tying hit off losing Oneonta reliever Jacob Ramos (1-1).

As it turned out, the first baseman's only hit of the night proved to be a big one. Ramos was replaced by Erik Crichton. The reliever just got David Williams on a comebacker which he knocked down before rifling a strike to first which put Pruitt in scoring position setting the stage for Gil. The catcher went with a pitch to right serving it to the opposite field to plate Pruitt for the winning run.

The two run rally helped pickup comebacking reliever Jason Stephens and closer Jonathan Ortiz after they gave up two runs in the top half of the frame on a hit batsman (Jorge Patino) and a four pitch walk to Kody Kaiser.

"Both of those guys have been doing great for us. They're coming in and really really closing the door," added Pruitt.

For much of the game, pitching dominated the night. Bomber starter Ryan Pope turned in his best outing in his third start by working the first four scoreless on just one hit while walking two and striking out six.

The 22 year-old Savannah Georgia native was staked to a one-run lead thanks to a D.J. Hollingsworth fly ball bloop which just dropped in front of Oneonta centerfielder Mike Sullivan to score Williams for the game's first run.

Jason Kiley and Stephens tossed three consecutive scoreless innings in relief of Pope before Oneonta rallied for two to go ahead in the eighth with two outs. Fortunately, the S.I. bats awakened in time to pull out the victory.

After walking in the lead run, Ortiz settled down to strike out three (all swinging) of the last four he faced including Cory Middleton to end it, picking up his first win in the process.

Notes: Former Baby Bomber shortstop Luis Nunez was promoted to Single-A Charleston Monday night to take the place of one-time S.I. Yankee Eduardo Nunez who got moved up to Tampa. Utility man Justin Snyder played short in his place and finished 1-for-4. ... With a hit in three plate appearances, second baseman Damon Sublett has hit in eight of his last nine games. ... Despite a walk and run scored, Williams had an eight-game hitting streak snapped. ... Even though it was a lowscoring game, it still took three hours and 13 minutes to complete. ... SP Chris Farley takes the hill in the second game of the series later tonight with first pitch scheduled for 7:10.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bomber bats silenced by Spikes

STATEN ISLAND, NY- The Baby Bomber bats were cooled off by State College as three pitchers held them to just one run on four hits as Staten Island (17-14) dropped the second game of the series 7-1 before 4,917 at Richmond County Bank Ballpark Saturday night.

The loss dropped the Bombers back to five and a half behind first place Brooklyn, who snapped a two-game skid with an 11-2 win over Tri-City to pickup a game in the standings.

Despite a solid effort from losing starter Zach McAllister (2-2), the Bombers couldn't provide enough support to take the righty off the hook. He got off to a rough start by allowing the first four Spikes to reach base. After loading them up on a walk, he gave up an RBI single to Andrew Walker for the game's first run.

But facing serious trouble, McAllister pitched his way out of it by striking out the next two batters and then got Erik Huber to bounce out to second baseman Damon Sublett.

Staten Island would threaten in the bottom half by putting runners on the corners with one out but Duke Welker (1-1) induced a tailor made 4-6-3 double play from S.I. third baseman Braedyn Pruitt to get out of it. It summed up the night as the Bombers left 10 runners on.

Consecutive two out hits by Smelin Perez (double) and Keanon Simon (RBI single) in the fifth increased State College's lead to 2-0.

The Bombers responded quickly in the bottom of the frame to slice it back to one. After shortstop Luis Nunez singled and stole second, designated hitter Chris Raber drove him in with a runscoring single to left. But that was all they could muster as Austin Krum bounced into a fielder's choice and Dave Williams followed by striking out swinging.

Staten Island had one chance to tie it up in the seventh off State College reliever Michael Felix. After Felix fanned the first two batters, he issued back-to-back walks to Nunez and pinch hitter Isaiah Howes to get the crowd's hope up. But pinch hitter Matt Morris harmlessly popped out to short which ended the inning.

The Spikes finally put the contest away by batting around for a five-run eighth. S.I. reliever Jason Kiley was done in partially by the defense. After allowing a run to come in on a Justin Ryler RBI double to left center, he gave up a single to Andrew Walker which put runners on the corners with nobody out. That's when it got ugly.

First, catcher's interference by Jose Gil allowed Daniel Rios to reach base safely which loaded the bases. Trailing by two with the infield in, Kiley got Matt Cavagnaro to ground to short but Nunez' throw was dropped by Gil going all the way to the backstop allowing two runs to score which suddenly made it 5-1.

Kyle Hollander replaced Kiley and permitted two more runs on a 4-6-3 twin killing and an RBI single by Austin McClune to make the deficit six. It could've been worse two batters later when Simon laced the third straight hit off the reliever but centerfielder Justin Snyder threw out McClune at home to mercifully end the inning.

State College reliever Brandon Williams worked around a two out ninth inning walk by getting Howes to line out to right which ended it.

Notes: Despite taking the loss, McAllister went the first six giving up two earned runs on four hits while walking two and fanning five. ... In three innings of work, relievers Kiley and Hollander allowed five runs (2 ER) on seven hits. ... Simon finished with a game high four hits in five plate appearances for State College while driving in and scoring a run. ... Welker tossed six strong for the Spikes allowing just a run on three hits while walking one and striking out five to notch the win. ... The game was live webcast on the official Staten Island Yankee site siyanks.com by their team official scorer. ... SP Ryan Zink will go for the Bombers in the rubber game Sunday afternoon at 2 PM.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Cyclones Shutdown Bombers To Take Series

STATEN ISLAND, NY- The Cyclones used two big innings along with solid pitching to shutdown the Bombers en route to a 9-3 win before a near capacity crowd of 7,171 at Richmond County Bank Ballpark on Friday Fireworks Night.

Their second straight win allowed them to comeback and take the series after dropping the opener on Independence Day. It raised first place Brooklyn's record to 13-5 and pushed their lead over Staten Island to four games. It was the Baby Bombers' second consecutive loss dropping them back to .500 (9-9).

"You're going to have tough games. The good teams are the ones that take the tough games and they figure out what they can do better and they come out and they bounce back the next day," Staten Island outfielder Isiah Howes explained after coming in as a defensive replacement and singling in his only at bat to leadoff the home ninth.

"It was a good win. It's good to take the series after that first loss in the first game. We just kind of swung the bats. A lot of close games lately. So it was good to win by a big shot," Brooklyn shortstop Jake Eigsti pointed out after finishing with a double and run scored in a three-run fourth which knocked out losing Bomber starter Ryan Zink, who fell to 2-1 after allowing five earned runs on eight hits in just three-plus.

Staked to a one-run lead after his teammates picked him up with three in the first off Brooklyn starter Dylan Owen, Zink tossed two consecutive scoreless but ran out of gas in the fourth. The first four Cyclones reached base on hits including a tying single by catcher Jordan Abruzzo followed by a Joaquin Rodriguez go-ahead single to left which plated Eigsti and knocked out Zink, who was replaced by reliever Phil Bartleski.

They tacked on a run when Micah Schilling grounded into a twin killing to put them up 5-3.

"Big innings are always nice and the pitching did a good job. Besides that first inning, it was great and it's been great. Hopefully, we can keep it up," added Eigsti.

Meanwhile, Owen settled down after a shaky first in which he permitted all three runs on a Damon Sublett RBI double, Jose Gil sac fly and a Taylor Holiday runscoring single.

"It kind of got away from us after that first inning. We did a good job bouncing back in the first but we just couldn't get anything going after that. It wasn't our night I guess," Holiday said after finishing two-for-four with an RBI in a losing effort.

Instead, Owen was in control the next four frames keeping Staten Island hitters off balance with a nasty slider which froze some batters as he piled up nine strikeouts in five to boost his record to 3-0. In fact, after permitting a single to Holiday to start the fourth, he struckout the final six hitters he faced.

"[Owen] definitely made an adjustment after that first inning and he dealt. He was getting that curveball over and did a great job," noted Eigsti.

"I didn't face him but it looked like he had some pretty good offspeed stuff," Howes viewed. "He was throwing a decent fastball in there. He was a quality starter. No doubt. We did well to get three runs in the first inning and I guess he just got it together. You got to hand it to him."

The Cyclones put the game out of reach with a four-run sixth against Bartleski, who lost the plate by beaning two batters to get into trouble with an out. He paid the price as Brooklyn tagged him. A Rodriguez single to left scored Will Vogl which made it 6-3. Micah Schilling then followed with a two-run double and came into score on J.R. Voyles' basehit to right giving them a six-run cushion.

They would never look back.

Steve Cheney came on to toss three and two thirds scoreless before giving way to lefty Grady Hinchman, who pitched around a two out walk to Austin Krum by getting shortstop Chris Carrara to pop out to first in foul territory which ended it.

Notes: Staten Island immediately boarded a bus for Batavia with a three-game series starting later tonight.

"We don't know anything about them or about their field. We're just going to go there and we're going to play our game and look to bring back at least two out of three," Howes said of the upcoming series.

"Now we got to go on the road for three at Batavia and hopefully right the ship a little bit and get back in the winning column," Holiday added.

"I sure hope so," skipper Mike Gillespie remarked. "It's interesting that with 75 percent of the season to go that we find ourselves having to make the realization to win every game is critical. We're four games behind in the loss column or whatever it is. They call this a short season for a reason."

After the three-game series on the road, the Baby Bombers get a rare off day on Tuesday before returning home the following night when they'll play host to Auburn.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Betances Shows Poise and Promise

STATEN ISLAND, NY - It's one thing to not allow a run when you have your best stuff but quite another when you're working your way through batters without it.

That's what Dellin Betances was able to do well enough in his fourth Penn League start against the Cyclones last night before a near packed house of 6,011 who celebrated part of their Independence Day by taking in an exciting 4-3 eleven inning Baby Bomber victory over the Cyclones at St. George.

Despite creating a couple of jams with a loss of control (six walks), Betances was able to pitch his way out of trouble by showing tremendous poise. One particular instance in the third inning saw the young 19 year-old hurler load the bases on three walks with two outs. He then went to a full count on Brooklyn first baseman Jason Jacobs before freezing him with an unhittable pitch which painted the outside corner to get out of it.

“I was glad to get that pitch cause I was kind of [upset] that I walked the bases loaded. So I was glad I got that last strike to strike [Jacobs] out,” Betances said after getting a no decision.

That kind of ability is what excites first-year skipper Mike Gillespie about his 19 year-old pupil who starred for Grand Street High School before being selected by the Yankees in last year's draft in the eighth round. Blessed with a fastball which can reach the mid-90's, he also possesses a wicked knuckle curve and changeup in his arsenal, giving Bronx Bomber fans plenty to get excited about. In 18 innings thus far, he had a 1-1 record with a 3.00 ERA and has whiffed 22.

“I liked the way he kept his poise and sort of pushed his way through it. I think he is a mature kid. I personally have been very impressed with his maturity beyond his years. I haven’t seen him be rattled," the manager noted as his team prepared for the second game of a three-game set scheduled for Thursday night at Keyspan Park.

Betances was pleased that he was able to get through four and two thirds without allowing a run despite unusual conditions on the Fourth of July.

"It was pretty hard just being that the rain and stuff but I managed through it and we actually got a win. So that was good," he pointed out.

If the weather wasn't ideal, then the plate umpire who passed on a couple of borderline strikes which led to walks probably didn't help in that regard either. However, Betances didn't seem to mind how it was called.

"It's alright. You just can't think about it too much cause you got more pitches to worry about. He was alright. The rain probably had an affect."

The lanky righty who's listed at 6-9 230 in the Staten Island Yankee program never buckled despite some gritty at bats by the Cyclones. He also got Jacob Eigsti to line out to short for a 6-5 inning ending double play in the fourth stranding two more runners at the corners.

Most encouraging for Betances was that he finished strong by getting Micah Schilling looking and Ender Chavez swinging before departing to a nice ovation after reaching his pitch count (89 pitches). He finished the night striking out six Cyclones.

"I was glad after that I was able to bounce back and get those two guys out but I reached my pitch count. So I had to come out. There was no way I could've thrown to that last guy."

"He can finish a hitter if he's at 85 and that's what happened with the previous hitter. But he couldn't start another new hitter," informed Gillespie who also lamented having to take his starter out.

"I dreaded that trip to the mound with one out to go and he did not want to come out. He wasn't thrilled. There was no issue over it but he wanted to stay in the game."

For the New York resident, he was excited to be able to pitch for the home club in such a great environment against their Verrazano rival.

"It's a great feeling. We had a lot of fans today. I was glad we got the win. So it's a great feeling just being here in front of the home fans. And there's nothing better than Yankee fans. I loved it."

He also talked about the importance of getting that first game against the Cyclones. Staten Island sliced Brooklyn's lead to two games.

"It's always good to get the first one. So get that out of the way. If we could win [Thursday] that would be great."

Despite pitching in the Gulf Coast League last Fall, he has noticed a difference in his first year in the Penn League and also knew he could improve on last night's outing.

"I did pitch Gulf Coast. It's different because there's more college hitters. Patient. Very good hitters. So you just got to throw strikes.I didn't really do that today but hopefully next time I come back.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Baby Bombers celebrate The Fourth in style with wild win , Walk off over archrival Cyclones

STATEN ISLAND, NY - Sometimes, baseball can be a funny game. That was the case in the Baby Bombers' exciting 4-3 comeback victory in 11 innings against their Verrazano rival before an energized 6,011 at Richmond County Bank Ballpark who were treated to special Fourth of July fireworks immediately following the unpredictable game which lasted three hours and 39 minutes in spite a start an hour earlier.

The win improved second place Staten Island to 9-7, pulling them within two games of first place Brooklyn (11-5) in the McNamara Division.

"Our offense found a way to get it done," pumped up third baseman Justin Snyder said after leading the 11th off with a walk before coming around to score the tying run when Brooklyn first baseman Jason Jacobs was unable to get his glove on second baseman Damon Sublett's sharp grounder.

"To score the winning run and getting the win and seeing the fireworks is pretty awesome. That's what it's all about," as he and teammates then gathered around edge of the dugout to watch the beautiful display which seemed symbolic on such a special day.

Trailing by a run thanks to a titanic 400-plus foot blast off the bat of Jake Eigsti to left center, Staten Island rallied in their final at bat. After Snyder worked a walk off Brooklyn reliever Stephen Clyne (1-1), center fielder Matt Morris dragged a perfect sac bunt which Clyne had trouble fielding to put the first two on. Sublett then followed with a hard hit grounder which went underneath Jacobs' glove for the second error of the inning, allowing Snyder to score from second to tie it.

With runners on the corners and nobody out, slugging catcher Jose Gil who earlier accounted for the club's prior two runs with a two-run home run in the fourth couldn't drive home the winner. Instead, he flew out to short right.

Just when it looked like the Cyclones might somehow escape, they messed up a chance to get the second out. With Morris running on contact from third, left fielder Austin Krum grounded to second baseman Micah Schilling who was playing in at the edge of the grass and immediately came home. Morris was a dead duck. So he backpedaled and got himself in a rundown. But third baseman J.R. Voyles was unable to apply the tag instead dropping the ball which allowed everyone to be safe loading the bases with an out.

It got even wackier when Clyne predictably uncorked a wild pitch which allowed Morris to cross the plate with the winning run to give his ballclub an unlikely win before a raucous atmosphere as fireworks went off.

"It was exciting. It's always against top rivals like Brooklyn. So it was a pretty big win for us," reliever Phil Bartleski pointed out after failing to pickup the save when he permitted a one out opposite field double to Ender Chavez which forced extras.

"Everybody played till the last out. That's all we can ask for out of everybody. We got two more games. Take these next two or at least one going into the All Star break. These are big games right here," eluding to the big three-game set with Game 2 later tonight at Keyspan Park before they return to the Ferry terminal tomorrow.

"It was good to comeback and get that win in front of the home fans. Especially against Brooklyn and take a game back when we're trying to catch them," explained reliever Craig Heyer after tossing three innings of one-run ball in relief of starter Dellin Betances and Jason Kiley.

"It just came down to the end and we were able to squeeze it out right there. There were some weird plays but we got the win. So that's all that matters."

The night started off with Betances working in and out of trouble. Despite not having his best stuff and walking the same amount of batters (six) he fanned, the 19 year-old Brooklyn native who was drafted by the Yankees last year showed plenty of resolve in tossing 89 pitches over four and two thirds scoreless.

"I liked the way he kept his poise and sort of pushed his way through it," praised skipper Mike Gillespie about the former Grand Street High School star. "I think he is a mature kid. I personally have been very impressed with his maturity beyond his years. I haven't seen him be rattled."

Most impressive was that when the young hurler needed to dial up a big pitch to squeeze out of a bases loaded jam he created, Betances painted the outside corner on a full count to catch Jacobs looking which ended the third.

"It was pretty hard," the 6-9 righthander explained of rainy conditions which made the mound slippery. "I was glad to get that pitch cause I was kind of [upset] that I walked the bases loaded. So I was glad I got that last strike to strike [Jacobs] out."

He finished strong by striking out the last two batters reaching his pitch count before giving way to the bullpen. Given a two-run lead on Gil's blast to left for his second dinger in two days, they pitched well but couldn't hold it which setup the crazy finish.

Gillespie knew how important it was to get this first one:

"We haven't talked to our players about the fact that it is a big series but I certainly think all the coaches think it's a big series. Even though it's early, it's getting to be less early. ... To have them get out there with too big a gap is not a little thing. I certainly don't like the idea of falling further and further behind.

They've been hot and I think they're good.

Notes: Despite allowing a homer to Eigsti in the eleventh, Staten Island reliever Kyle Hollander cameback to retire the side and pickup his first win. He also came on for Bartleski in the 10th with runners in scoring position with just an out and got out of a tight situation when Will Vogl's suicide squeeze backfired. Gil quickly grabbed the ball before just getting back to the plate in time to tag out Matt Bouchard. Hollander would then get Jordan Abruzzo on a comebacker to end the threat.

"I'm sure glad it came out like it did because I think the surprising thing would be that at some point I didn't ask for a pitchout," an unsurprised Gillespie said. "Julio Mascara, our third base coach pointed out the squeeze as a possibility and I was just guessing for a count. ... They have shown in the few games that we've played that there's a lot in their bag."

Summing up the game, 31 different players were used including 17 Baby Bombers. That included three pinch hitters and nine total pitchers (Bkln- 4 S.I.- 5). ... Since a 1-4 start, the S.I. Yanks have won seven of 10.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Baby Bombers rally past Renegades

STATEN ISLAND, NY- Sometimes, a comeback win can build character. For Mike Gillespie's ballclub, maybe this is the start of something big.

"I think so," the skipper said. "We have played better. We have these new players which has helped. I think we have just about everybody we're going to have. I understand that the Yankees have signed the Pope guy. The pitcher taken in the third round. ... These guys that have come have made a difference."

Trailing 4-0, the Baby Bombers scored seven straight in the fifth and sixth to rally past the Renegades 7-5 before an energized 4,307 at Richmond County Bank Ballpark Sunday. It was their second win in a row and sixth in their last eight to push them over .500 (7-6), remaining just two behind first place Brooklyn who also won.

"Baseball's a funny game. You never know what's going to happen. A hit here. A hit there. A little momentum is all we needed," explained DH Isaiah Howes after coming around to score one of his team's runs. "In this organization, we don't accept losing. We're out there to win. It's fun when you win. That's what we try to do."

It didn't start well. Starter Angel Reyes didn't make it through two innings to put Staten Island in an early 3-0 hole. Hudson Valley struck for two in the first on back-to-back one out hits from Cody Cipriano (double) and Stephen Vogt. The southpaw got into more trouble in the second. After getting the first out, he allowed three consecutive hits including a Maiko Loyola run-scoring single which made it a three-run deficit.

After walking his third batter in one and a third to load the bases, he was pulled in favor of reliever Phillip Bartleski. The righty was able to limit the damage by getting Vogt to bounce into a 4-6-3 double play.

"I knew I had to throw strikes and I got a great defense behind me," the cool middle reliever pointed out after tossing two and two thirds scoreless to keep his team afloat. "I just had to hit some spots and let the defense do the work."

Before the comeback got started in the home fifth, reliever Ryan Zink allowed a Henry Wrigley RBI double which made it four zip. But Zink later settled down to toss five solid innings allowing two runs (1 ER) while whiffing four to improve to 2-0.

"We got some good arms on the staff and really, pitching can carry a ballclub and today, from the fifth inning on, they were lights out," noted Howes. "We got the momentum in the fourth or fifth inning and we built on that throughout the game. And our pitching shut them down."

After failing to capitalize early on against knuckleballer Diego Echeverria (0-3) with even one inning ending on a bizarre 1-5-2-6-6-2 twin killing, the Bombers finally got it going by pushing across three in the fifth. Left fielder D.J. Hollingsworth was hit by a pitch and came around to score when catcher James LaSala's single to right was booted by Epifanio De Leon allowing the speedy runner to score all the way from first.

The big blow came off the bat of second baseman Damon Sublett, who drilled his second home run of the week for a two-run blast to right with two outs which sliced the deficit to one.

"I was just looking for a ball up. My other at bats, [Echeverria] threw me a couple of pitches that were up and out and I was just looking for one in and he gave me one," Sublett pointed out.

The game seemed to turnaround after that.

"We definitely started having better at bats after that. Early in the game, we kind of were up there swinging at first pitches. Not having good at bats. But after that, we locked in and did some things."

After Zink got the Renegades in order, the Bombers nearly batted around for four more in the sixth. They loaded the bases with one out before Claudio Rodriguez replaced Echeverria. In a recent home win, Sublett tagged him with a long dinger. This time, a walk to pinch hitter Austin Krum knotted it before center fielder Taylor Holliday delivered a tiebreaking two-run single to center for S.I.'s first lead. Shortstop Luis Nunez followed with a sac fly which scored Krum to put them ahead 7-4.

"In the beginning, we'd get down and kind of give in. But we had a pretty good game. Some good at bats. If our pitching's on, I don't think we're beatable," third baseman Justin Snyder said after being on base twice and scoring a run. "It seems like everyone's getting knocks."

It was enough to hold up. After giving one run back on an eighth inning Greg Sexton single, Zink got the final three outs on a 6-6-4 DP and a groundout to Nunez.

Notes: Staten Island used all three backstops with LaSala finishing 1-for-2 before Frank Lonigro replaced him after Krum pinch hit. Jose Gil then came on in the final inning to catch Zink. ... Baby Bombers travel to Hudson Valley for Game 2 of the series before concluding it tomorrow night back at St. George.