Voyles Powers Another Cyclones Victory|
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Sunday, June 24, 2007
BROOKLYN, NY - There may have been hundreds of Coney Island’s most eccentric outside Keyspan Park during today’s Cyclones game for the annual Mermaid Parade, but the Mets single-A affiliate was content on not surprising anyone.
With another solid, staff-wide pitching performance, the Cyclones paved the way to a 6-2 victory, thanks in part to another superb game offensively from JR Voyles, who went one for three with a sacrifice bunt and two RBIs.
“I’m just trying to hit pitches,” said Voyles, who has hit safely in all five Cyclones games this year. “It feels good to be able to help the team this much. I was expecting to be a utility-guy and play when people needed a day off, so this is nice. I’m going to try and stay as hot as I can.”
Making his Brooklyn debut on the mound today was Tim Stronach, who struggled this season with the Mets other single-A affiliate in Savannah, going 2-7 with a 5.45 ERA. Looking for a fresh change of scenery in Brooklyn, Stronach would eventually turn in a solid pitching performance, giving up six hits and one earned run in five innings.
Things however didn’t start exactly the way Stronach would have liked, giving up a run on an Angel Fermin single that gave the Renegades an early 1-0 lead. Things could have been much worse however, but thanks to two double plays in the game’s first two innings, the Cyclones were still within striking distance.
“I was having trouble finding the zone a little bit, but I knew the offense was going to take over eventually,” said Stronach, who ended up getting the win. “I knew the defense was going to help me too. I have the utmost confidence in the guys behind me.”
Fermin would then manage to add another RBI single to his résumé in the fourth, stretching the Renegade lead to 2-0, but that wasn’t Brooklyn’s biggest problem. The ‘Clones looked absolutely puzzled at the repertoire of Hudson Valley starter and Levittown-native Jesse Darcy, who kept the Cyclones scoreless through 3 2/3 innings, until a Raul Reyes RBI single would open up the game and cut the Devil Rays single-A affiliate’s lead to 2-1 in the fourth.
Getting on the board in the fourth seemed to give Stronach the confidence he needed, paving the way for a shutout inning in the fifth and soon enough, the Cyclones hottest hitter, JR Voyles, would solve Darcy and slam a double into the gap in left-center field, scoring two runs and giving Brooklyn a 3-2 edge after five innings of play. That would then be all for Darcy, who would be replaced by Renegades reliever Mark Suchowiecki, who would get Will Vogl to fly out to end the inning.
The Cyclones would make a pitching change of their own in the sixth, bringing in dominating reliever Stephen Cheney, who would keep Hudson Valley scoreless in the inning, despite giving up a single and a walk, thanks to an amazing catch at the left field wall by Brooklyn outfielder Brandon Kawal that would keep the score at 3-2.
Just when things looked like they were about to settle down offensively, with Cheney and Suchowiecki each throwing scoreless frames in the seventh, Hudson Valley reliever Ryan Zimmerman came in to pitch in the eighth and got himself into a one-out, bases-loaded jam that resulted in a RBI double from catcher Yasmil Bucce, scoring both Micah Schilling and Vogl, giving Brooklyn a 5-2 lead. The next hitter, Reyes, would then get his second RBI of the game on a sac fly before Zimmerman could end the inning, giving the ‘Clones a 6-2 lead going into the ninth.
Will Morgan would come out of the pen in the ninth for Brooklyn and would get into trouble, giving up a lead off hit and walk before Cyclones pitching coach Hector Berrios made his way to mound to try and calm the 21-year old reliever down. After Berrios headed back to the dugout, Morgan would get the next three hitters in order, tying the knot on a come from behind 6-2 Brooklyn victory.
With a 4-1 record through their first five games, the Cyclones have surprised both the fans and critics that thought they didn’t have the offensive firepower needed to win and have done so in convincing fashion, outscoring their opponents 23-10.
“We find a way to score runs and do the little things. That makes me feel good,” said Cyclones manager Edgar Alfonzo. “This is what good teams do and that’s what we’re doing right now.”
After the game, Stronach admitted that the crowd at tonight’s game was the biggest he’s ever played in front of and that he loves the high energy atmosphere in Brooklyn. In spite of that however, he did say that he was quite flabbergasted at some of the sights of the Mermaid Parade.
“I came to the clubhouse a little early and I wanted to get some food, so I walked outside and saw a crowd of people looking like I’ve never seen before,” he said, laughing. “There were some weird costumes going on, it was just really…different.”