Clones Fall to Renegades 3-2
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Tuesday, June 24, 2008
BROOKLYN, NY - Powered by a 4-2 win in Aberdeen on Sunday where they collected 10 hits and six walks, the Brooklyn Cyclones looked to win their fifth game of the season with even more support from their offense. The Hudson Valley Renegades pitching staff had other things in mind however, limiting the Baby Mets to just four hits in a 3-2 loss.
“We’re 4-3 and I’m still excited about this team,” said Cyclones skipper Edgar Alfonzo, who doesn’t seem the least bit concerned about his streaky offense. “I think our new players are still trying to figure out their swings and the pitchers are still getting used to the league. Despite that, I’m still happy about where this team is going.
“They [the Renegades] had good stuff tonight; they did a great job against us. They have a good team and we need to be careful. We need to play different against this team.”
Righty Tim Stronach (1-0), who gave up one unearned run over five innings in his first start of the season on June 18, took the mound for the Mets Single-A affiliate and was solid early, hurling three scoreless frames to start the game.
Hudson Valley starter Frank De Los Santos was also stellar early on, but after a leadoff triple from Brandon Richey and a groundout from Matt Bouchard in the third, Brooklyn found itself with a 1-0 lead.
Brooklyn couldn’t hold the lead for long though, as four consecutive hits, the last a Jacob Jefferies RBI single, opened the door for a two-run fourth inning and gave the Baby Rays a 2-1 lead. Things didn’t get better for the 22-year-old Brooklyn hurler in the fifth either, as another run would cross the plate and extend the Renegades lead to 3-1.
“I started leaving the ball up and I was working from behind,” said Stronach. “I started strong and then I couldn’t get back on track. My two-seamer wasn’t breaking at times and it got me into trouble.”
With only two outs in the fifth and the score still 3-1, Matias Carrillo came out of the Cyclones pen to relieve Stronach and quickly retired the first hitter he faced to end the inning. Carrillo then blanked Hudson Valley in the sixth, opening the door for a Brooklyn comeback. With runners on first and third with no outs in the sixth, outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis grounded out, scoring Matt Bouchard, cutting the Renegades lead to 3-2.
Keeping Hudson Valley scoreless through the rest of the night, Carrillo and fellow reliever Wendy Rosa, combined with left fielder John Servidio, who made an outstanding diving play in the ninth, did everything in their power to keep their team in the game.
It wasn’t enough though, as Renegades relievers Thomas Rafferty and Matt Gorgen silenced the Brooklyn offense in the eighth and ninth, giving Hudson Valley a hard-fought 3-2 victory.
Losing the first game of a three game series, the Cyclones [4-3] will look to get the series tied with a win on the road at Dutchess Stadium with Manuel Olivares taking the mound on Tuesday and Troy, New York-native Eric Beaulac starting the last game of the series on Wednesday, before coming back home to face the Iron Birds on Thursday.
In order to take the series from the Renegades however, the Cyclones know they have to step up their collective offensive game.
That they believe will come in time.
“Most of us are still in the process of getting our swings down,” said Servidio, who is hitting .274 with four RBI in his first six games this season. “I think in the following week or so, you’re going to see a big difference in all of us.”
Notes: Cyclones third baseman Zach Lutz missed his second game in a row, due to an injured right ankle [he broke his right foot on Opening Day last season and missed the rest of the season] he suffered in Aberdeen. According to Alfonzo, the injury isn’t anything serious and Lutz is currently listed as day-to-day.
“It’s just bad luck,” said Alfonzo. “He aggravated it on a hit and miss in Aberdeen. I think he’s going to be ok. I hope so.”