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.