Crosscutters Sand Down Cyclones
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Friday, July 20, 2007

BROOKLYN, NY - The weather in Coney Island during tonight’s game was dark and dreary and the Cyclones mirrored that atmosphere to a T, falling 4-2 to Williamsport, thanks to a combination of lackluster offense and unusually spotty defense, losing their first game since July 12 against Tri-City.

However, things didn’t start out that way.

After failing to get a hit in the first two innings off of Crosscutters starter Chris Kissock, the Mets Single-A affiliate gave the scoreboard some company after a Jake Eigsti RBI single would bring home Matt Bouchard, giving the ‘Clones an early 1-0 lead.

Coming into the game with a 2-0 record and a 3.80 ERA in five starts, Brooklyn starter Nick Carr might have been forced to deal with the possibility of a thunderstorm during his start, but was able to stray away from the potential lightning of the Cutters offense. Leaving runners on base in the first and third, Carr was fortunate enough to keep the Phillies Single-A affiliate scoreless through five innings pitched.

“I got ahead of hitters today, so I was proud of that,” said Carr. “I was throwing my slider for strikes and I got ahead of guys. Things were working out there.”

While things looked like they were going Carr’s way through the sixth, his pitch count was running high and thanks to a few walks and two errors, it looked like the 2005 Mets draft pick would soon be finished. Soon enough, a Matt Rizzotti sacrifice fly managed to tie the score and after giving up a double to the next hitter, Michael Durant, Carr was replaced by Steven Cheney.

Even though Cheney was solid through the top of the seventh, a lead off double off the bat of Freddy Galvis and an error by Jason Jacobs would put runners on the corners with only one out. Unlike Carr’s ability to squirm his way out of trouble, Cheney would give up a fielder’s choice that would bring home Galvis and put the Cutters ahead 2-1. Later in the inning, Cheney would continue to get into trouble and would bean Tyler Mach with the bases loaded, extending the lead to 3-1.

Josh Appell and Edgar Ramirez would then try to clean up Cheney’s mess and after Appell got Rizzotti to pop out, Ramirez would throw a wild pitch and the Cyclones would find themselves in a three-run hole with only three more innings left to play.

The Cyclones, however, did have an opportunity to get back in the game in the eighth. Getting runners on first and second with only one out, Brooklyn wouldn’t be able to come through in the clutch at home like they have so many other times this season. After Raul Reyes struck out for the second out of the inning, Jason Jacobs would reach base on an error that would load the bases for Will Vogl, who would get hit with a 2-1 fastball that would pull Brooklyn within two runs. However, that would be all the offense the Mets Single-A affiliate would be able to produce before going scoreless in the ninth, closing the door on a tough 4-2 loss.

“We made some mistakes tonight and they didn’t,” said Alfonzo. “But we battled hard. They’ve been playing good and everyone makes mistakes at times.”

Losing their first game in a week, Brooklyn understands that in order to stay on top of the NY-Penn League, they’re going to have to play tighter defense and make sure they take advantage on offense in order to keep their lead in the McNamara division. Despite that, they’re not worried about their upcoming series against the Tri-City Valley Cats.

“Stuff like this is going to happen,” said Carr. “We played a good game tonight, but we fell short. It happens sometimes”