Cyclones Offense Far From Super in 3-0 Loss
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Sunday, August 12, 2007

BROOKLYN, NY- It may have been superhero night at Keyspan Park, but the Cyclones offense didn’t get the message. Coming from behind last night against Auburn, Brooklyn couldn’t produce any offense off the crafty and dominant Doubledays pitching staff tonight and would lose 3-0 in an offensive effort that was far from super.

Giving up five runs in his last 7.1 innings before tonight’s game, Cyclones starter Eric Niesen has made it apparent that he’s much more comfortable in the bullpen. However, due to injuries to Tim Stronach, Todd Privett and J.J. Leaper, Niesen has been forced into the rotation and doesn’t look to be coming out any time soon.

Going 3.1 innings today, Niesen continued to look like the Clark Kent of the ‘Clones starting rotation, giving up two runs in the first inning and forcing his teammates to come from behind for the second game in a row.

“The last few starts have been a struggle,” said Niesen. “It’s been a little frustrating. Hopefully, the next time I go out, I’ll be able to put up some more zeros.”

Striking out six Doubledays, Niesen did regain his composure for a short period of time, hurling scoreless frames in the second and third, but would run into trouble in the top of the fourth, giving up a Carlos Vasquez RBI single that stretched the Auburn lead to 3-0 and signaled the end of his day on the mound.

“In the first inning, he was trying to throw 100 miles an hour. He needs to stay back and hit his spots more,” said Cyclones manager Edgar Alfonzo. “I think he’s going to be ok though.”

Josh Appell would come out of the Cyclones bullpen with one out and a runner at first in the top of the fourth and would keep the score at 3-0 until he was replaced by Will Morgan with two outs in the fifth. Morgan would then proceed to get the last out of the inning and kept Auburn from getting back on the scoreboard until the bottom of the seventh, with the score still 3-0.

Grady Hinchman and Stephen Clyne would then keep the Doubledays scoreless the rest of the way, but in the end, it wouldn’t matter. Mustering only five hits today, the Mets Single-A affiliate couldn’t match the valiant efforts of their bullpen and were dealt a 3-0 loss as a result.

Looking to win the rubber game of the three-game series tomorrow before the All-Star break, the Cyclones know that they need to start producing more offensively.

“We’ll come out of this fine,” said Morgan, who found out after he exited the game that he will be playing in the NY-Penn League All Star game next week. “All of these guys want to win and they’ll come back strong, they always do.”