Bullpen Fuels ‘Clones 4-3 Come From Behind Victory|
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Saturday, August 11, 2007
BROOKLYN, NY - With slugger J.R. Voyles back in the lineup for the first time since being struck in the head with a fastball a few weeks ago, the Cyclones offense looked to return to its high-scoring ways. However, thanks to an amazing pitching performance from Auburn starter Marc Rzepczynski and solid defense, the ‘Clones bats were stuck in the mud until he left the game in the seventh, when they’d score two runs in a 4-3 come from behind victory.
“This team never gives up and we always get the clutch hits. It happened again tonight,” said Voyles, who went 1 for 4 with a double. “It felt good to be back, but I was happy to get the win.”
Getting the start for the Mets Single-A affiliate was Nick Carr, who in nine starts prior to tonight was 4-0 with a 3.25 ERA and 56 K’s through only 44.1 innings pitched. Showing remarkable velocity on his fastball and electric movement on his off-speed pitches this season, despite dropping 40 pounds during the offseason, Carr continued to waste no time today and stuck out six through the game’s first four innings.
“I was just throwing my fastball; I felt really good,” said Carr. “I don’t think I threw a changeup at all through those first four innings.”
However despite Carr’s dominance, Rzepczynski was equally as stellar, keeping the ‘Clones hitless through the first three innings. That was until the Cyclones broke through with three hits and two runs in the fourth, courtesy of a Jake Eigsti RBI groundout and a Lucas Duda RBI single that put Brooklyn up 2-0.
Two runs of support wouldn’t be enough for Carr however, as the young righty would surrender three runs on three hits in the top of fifth, before being replaced by Grady Hinchman with the bases loaded. Hinchman however would silence the Doubledays offensive surge and get the first batter he faced to ground out to him and keep the game at 3-2 in favor of Auburn.
“He never comes into a game in a great spot, he’s always cleaning up someone else’s mess and he never complains about it,” Cyclones manager Edgar Alfonzo said of Hinchman. “He did a great job tonight.”
Edgar Ramirez would then come out of the Brooklyn pen and throw a scoreless sixth, but the Cyclones offense wasn’t able to get the lead back until the seventh. Recapturing the lead on a RBI double from Jeffries Tatford off of Auburn reliever Adam Rogers, after a throwing error on a Will Vogl sacrifice bunt allowed Duda to score and tie the game, the ‘Clones would get another perfect inning of work from Steven Cheney, who came into the game in the seventh and would strike out the side in the eighth, keeping the score at 4-3 in favor of Brooklyn.
“Every night it seems that someone comes up big for us,” said Alfonzo. “Tonight was his night.”
Reliever Brant Rustich would then come out to finish off Auburn in the ninth after Ramirez and Cheney kept Brooklyn alive and would keep the Doubledays scoreless, inducing another come from behind victory at Keyspan Park, 4-3.
Winning the first game of the series against Auburn, the Mets Single-A affiliate continue to win games at a break neck pace and continue to show a confidence and determination not found in the team since their inaugural season.
“All of these guys are playing like All-Stars,” said Alfonzo. “In my heart, I really mean that. I have so much confidence in these guys. They don’t have to put their heads down for anybody right now.”