Waechter on a Roll, Cyclones beat Lake Monsters, 2-1
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Sunday, July 29, 2007

BROOKLYN, NY - After last night’s extra-inning pitchers duel that stifled both Vermont’s and Brooklyn’s bats, the ‘Clones were looking for a breakout night on the basepaths. Instead, they got another great starting pitching performance and ended up going into extra innings again. However, unlike yesterday, the Cyclones came out victorious, this time defeating the Lake Monsters 2-1.

With a 2-0 record with 0.90 ERA in his last two games, Cyclones starter Nick Waechter has pitched marvelously as of late and has managed to turn his season around after two disastrous starts to begin the year. Today however, Waechter was inconsistent early and would pay the price, giving up a run on two hits in the second inning that gave the Lake Monsters an early 1-0 lead.

Working much slower to mound than usual, Waechter’s slider didn’t have the same pizzazz on it that it usually does, while his fastball was left high in the zone more than a few times during the early innings of the game.

“He was very slow to the mound in the beginning of the game,” said Cyclones manager Edgar Alfonzo. “Once he sped up his delivery, he was great.”

While Waechter would eventually settle down, throwing four scoreless frames into the seventh and reclaim the poise and speed on the mound that he’s known for, Lake Monsters starter Glenn Gibson, son of former Met and Yankee middle reliever Paul Gibson, was extremely sharp and kept the Mets Single-A affiliate hitless through six innings.

“He was amazing,” said Cyclones third baseman Jake Eigsti. “He really kept us off balance.”

However, despite keeping the ‘Clones hitless in the fifth, Gibson would get into trouble, allowing Jason Jacobs to reach on an error and walking Will Vogl. With runners on first and second with no outs, the Cyclones would then play some small ball, as Raul Reyes would move both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt before Joaquin Rodriguez would tie the score on a sacrifice fly, all without Gibson giving up a hit.

Tim Stronach would then replace Waechter in the seventh, making his first appearance after dealing with arm troubles over the past few weeks that caused him to miss his last four starts in the rotation and would pitch well enough to keep the score at 1-1.

Continuing his no-hit bid into the seventh, Gibson would finally give one up in the top of the frame to Will Vogl, but the Cyclones were unable to break though with any run support for Stronach or Josh Appell, who replaced the righty with two outs and a runner on third in the bottom of the eighth. Giving up an unearned run last night, Appell walked the first batter he faced, but was able to get out of the inning with the score still locked at 1-1.

After being shut down for almost seven innings by Gibson, the Brooklyn offense finally showed some signs of life against Vermont reliever Edulin Abreu, getting him into a bases loaded jam. However, Abreu was able to strikeout Chris Fournier and get Jacobs to fly out to center field, keeping the game tied still at one runs apiece.

Will Morgan would come out of the ‘Clones pen in the top of the ninth and continued what has been a stellar first season, getting the Lake Monsters in order and giving Brooklyn an opportunity with the game in the bottom of the ninth. However, the Mets Single-A affiliate wouldn’t be able to send anyone home, sending the came into extra innings for the second consecutive night.

Luckily for Brooklyn, they wouldn’t have to wait long before going home victorious, as both Matt Bouchard and Micah Schilling would reach base to start the bottom of the tenth inning, paving the way for a Jake Eigsti sacrifice bunt that would be misplayed by Abreu and cause the winning run to cross the plate, resulting in a 2-1 win.

After winning another come from behind game at home, the Cyclones, who will be without their star infielder J.R. Voyles for unknown amount of time after he was struck in the head during last night’s game, know that the road ahead of them is going to be a tough one. Nevertheless, they’re ready for whatever comes their way.

“These past two games have been like playoff games against these guys,” said Eigsti. “This was a big win for us tonight.”