Waechter’s Strong Start Enough to Fuel 5-2 Cyclone Victory |
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Saturday, July 7, 2007
BROOKLYN, NY - After going 4-3 during the team’s first extended road trip of the season, the Brooklyn Cyclones came back to Keyspan Park with a vengeance, getting a two-RBI performance from Jason Jacobs and great starting pitching from Nick Waechter, inducing a hard-fought, come from behind 5-2 win over the Staten Island Yankees.
Giving up 12 runs in 12.1 innings through his first three starts this season, Waechter was eager to get back on the right track against the Yankees and would hurl a scoreless inning in the first, but would then run into trouble in the second, giving up a run on two hits, courtesy of a Isaiah Howes RBI single, giving the Baby Bombers a 1-0 lead.
The Mets Single-A affiliate would answer back quickly however, as Jacobs would hit a solo bomb off the Bay Ridge Honda/Volvo sign in left field, effectively tying the score at 1-1. After that, Waechter would settle down, twirling three scoreless innings and keeping the score 1-1 through five.
Working much quicker on the mound and with much more confidence tonight, Waechter looked like the same pitcher that threw two scoreless innings in his only appearance in Brooklyn last season before breaking his arm and a far cry away from the one that has had trouble finding the strike zone consistently this season. Bombarding Staten Island hitting with his fastball and sinker inside, Waechter got the Yankees to ground out on more than a few occasions and easily pitched the best game of his short professional career.
“I was just trying to keep the ball down and let my teammates do the work,” said Waechter. “There are a lot of other things I need to work on, but I’ve been getting the ground balls I need in order to be successful. Our defense is excellent and it’s a lot of fun to watch them play.”
Yankees starter Zack McAllister was even more dominant however, striking out six and giving up only four hits in five innings of work before giving way to Staten Island reliever Jeff Livek, who would give up a standup double off the bat of J.R Voyles, who would come around to score after a Jason Jacobs sacrifice fly, putting the Cyclones up 2-1.
“Jacobs has been trying to stay inside the ball and hit opposite field the past few games,” said Cyclones manager Edgar Alfonzo. “He’s working hard and it’s been working for him.”
After Waechter was relieved of his duties, William Morgan would come into the game for the ‘Clones and pitch a scoreless seventh, but David Koons, who pitched the eighth for Brooklyn, would give up a one out, solo homer from Luis Nunez, tying the game at 2-2.
However, just how the Cyclones came back after finding themselves down in the second, they’d strike back again in eighth, as Jake Eigsti would get walked by Yankees reliever John Axford with two outs and the bases loaded, giving Brooklyn their second lead of the night at 3-2. The next Cyclone at the plate, pinch-hitter Brandon Kawal, would then add to the lead, scorching a bases-loaded RBI single that would score two more runs and would put the Mets Single-A affiliate up 5-2.
“I was on my toes the entire game. I knew that me or one of the other bench players were going to get an opportunity,” said Kawal. “Once I got that hit, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Sure, I’d like to be in the lineup more, but right now I’m happy being able to help the team win anyway I can.”
Dan McDonald would then come out of the Brooklyn pen in the ninth and was extremely wild. After walking the bases loaded with two outs, McDonald would get Nunez to fly out to Lucas Duda in left field to end the game, capping a 5-2 come from behind Cyclones victory.
Winning their 12th game of the season and stretching their lead in the McNamara division to three games over Staten Island, the Cyclones look to clinch the three-game series with the Baby Bombers with a win tomorrow in S.I.
“We played better than them all nine innings tonight,” said Jacobs. “We’re playing good ball right now and even though we still have things to work on, we’re continuing to improve.”