Niesen and Company Shutout Jammers 1-0
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Monday, July 9, 2007

BROOKLYN, NY- After five home runs and 18 hits of combined total offense in yesterday’s game, the sellout crowd at Keyspan Park today was expecting another offensive outburst. Instead, they got treated to old-fashioned pitchers duel, as the Met Single-A affiliate defeated Jamestown 1-0.

“Every night we try to win,” said Cyclones manager Edgar Alfonzo. “We never give up. Tonight, we only needed one run. They pitched good, but we pitched better and that’s why we won.”

Making his Keyspan Park debut on the mound today was 2007 third round pick Eric Niesen, who threw 3.1 innings of shutout ball in his first appearance on July 3 against Aberdeen. Struggling with his control in the first, Niesen walked two batters, but managed to stay out of trouble, particularly due to great defense by Cyclones shortstop Matt Bouchard, who helped keep the Jammers scoreless.

“I struggled a little bit at first, but afterwards I was locating my pitches and it worked out today,” said Niesen, who had five K’s to go along with three walks. “The defense did a great job and they rewarded me by making some great plays.”

However, unlike last night, when the Cyclones came from behind to get the win, they managed to get on the board early, courtesy of a Raul Reyes RBI double in the first, giving Niesen an early 1-0 lead to work with. Thanks to Niesen’s dominance, after a shaky first, the one run would be all that he and his teammates needed.

“He was outstanding,” said Alfonzo. “He had an explosive fastball and a good changeup today and was throwing strikes. I was happy with how he battled out there.”

Keeping the Jammers scoreless through four, Niesen allowed only one hit, making sure that the only run from the Cyclones offense tonight was enough to get the job done. Coming out of the Brooklyn pen in the fifth, reliever David Koons would continue right when Niesen left off, keeping Jamestown scoreless in four stellar innings of relief, before Dan McDonald came into the game in the ninth and got the save.

Winning their fourth game in a row and clinching the series with Jamestown with one game still left to play, the Cyclones continue to find a way to win and now find themselves with a 15-5 record, the best in the entire NY-Penn League, through the first 20 games of the season.

“The direction we’re going in is incredible,” said Koons. “We’re hot right now and we’re going to try and stay on top for as long as we can.”