Before the start of the game, the Cyclones held a meeting that lasted nearly 40 minutes to address their recent offensive struggles. The meeting proved to be a boost, as the bats finally showed some fire in tonight’s win.
Brooklyn got things rolling in the Bottom of the 1st. With Heath Bowers on the hill for Vermont, Vinny Siena hit a 1-out single to left and would go to 2nd on a balk. Michael Bernal went down swinging, but Jeff Diehl drew a walk while Vinny Siena stole 3rd. David Thompson hit the ball right to 3B Mikey White which looked like it was going to end the inning, but White misplayed it, allowing Siena to score, Diehl moved to 3rd & Thompson to go all the way to 2nd. Hengelbert Rojas was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With the bases loaded, Zach Mathieu hit into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
The Bottom of the 2nd saw Cody Kurz come in to pitch. Kurz began his day by hitting Manuel Hilario with a pitch. Alfredo Reyes grounded out, but moved Hilario to 2nd. Kurz threw ball 4 so far away from Tharp, Hilario was able to advance to 3rd. Siena singled to right, scoring Hilario, but Tharp was nailed at 3rd. Bernal singled to center and went to 2nd on an error by CF Skye Bolt while moving Siena to 3rd. Diehl grounded out to end the inning, but the Cyclones had a 2-0 lead.
The Cyclones extended their lead in the Bottom of the 5th off Jared Lyons, who came in an inning earlier. Bernal reached on an infield single and the bad throw sent him to 2nd. After getting Diehl & Thompson out, Lyons gave up a single to Rojas that scored Bernal. Lyons tried to pick off Rojas, but the bad throw sent Rojas to 2nd. Mathieu went down swinging to end the inning, but the Cyclones now led 3-0.
Cyclones starter Gaby Almonte was lights out through his 1st 6 innings. He ran into trouble in the Top of the 7th. He gave up a leadoff double to White, who went to 3rd on a fly out by Chris Iriart and score on a single by Nick Collins. Tom Gamboa pulled him for Carlos Valdez who got out of the jam by getting Skye Bolt to hit into a double play.
The Cyclones did bounce back in the Bottom of the 7th. Siena led off with a walk and Diehl doubled him to 3rd two batters later. Thompson went down looking, but Rojas continued to be of help as he singled to center, scoring Siena. Mathieu grounded out to end his 3rd inning, dropping his average to .191.
The Cyclones would remove any chance of a save situation thanks to more offense in the Bottom of the 8th. With Evan Manarino on the mound for his 3rd inning of work, Tharp drew a 2-out walk. Siena singled him to 2nd and Bernal doubled them both in, but ended the inning as he tried to stretch it into a single.
Nicco Blank pitched a perfect 9th to close the door on the Lake Monsters to give the Cyclones a much needed win.
The Cyclones improve to 17-11 and remain tied for 1st with the Staten Island Yankees. They close out the homestand with an 11:30 camp day game tomorrow before hitting the road for 6. RHP Andrew Church (1-0, 2.00) will face off against RHP Dustin Driver (0-1, 5.06)