When the highlight of the night is watching Cyclones 1B Pedro Perez complete his third scoreless appearance on the mound in ten days, you know it’s been tough. And last night’s 9-0 shutout – the second straight by the State College Spikes at MCU Park – was tough.
And yet, with the Staten Island Yanks dropping another game to the Williamsport Crosscutters, Brooklyn remains only 1.5 games in back of the .500 Baby Bombers in the McNamara Division with three big games looming at MCU to end the regular season on Labor Day weekend.
The Spikes scored early and often, with leadoff hitter & LF Craig Aiken doubling and later scoring on a wild pitch by starter & losing pitcher Eddie Villasmil.
The Cyclones on the other could do little with southpaw Jacob Evans, who allowed only two harmless singles (3B David Thompson in the 1st, SS Alfredo Reyes in the 6th) in six masterful innings of work. Evans had five strikeouts, but routinely had the Cyclones beating the ball into the rug, while his defense made both the routine and the spectacular plays throughout the series, committing only 2 errors in three games (one of which was a Hail Mary toss by the catcher to the plate in the first game of the series attempting to prevent a Cyclones runner from scoring on a wild pitch). The Spikes bullpen gave up only two singles in the 8th, by LF Oswald Caraballo & SS Alfredo Reyes. Caraballo’s hit was his 8th in 70 at bats, just barely keeping him over .100.
Villasmil left after five innings, giving up another run in the 4th. Brandon Welch returned to the Cyclones and gave up a two RBI double by 3B Ronnierd Garcia in the 6th. Jose Celas was ineffective, getting only one out in the 7th while allowing four runs. Ty Williams ended the 7th, allowing two inherited runners to score with a bases loaded walk and a wild pitch before striking out two. Ty gave up a run in the 8th, but it could have been worse – Ruben Reyes came in with the bases jammed and only one out. He induced a grounder to 2B Brandon Kaupe (who replaced Vinny Siena to start the inning), who made a spectacular toss with his glove to start an inning ending 4-6-3 double play. Pedro Perez once again prevented further stress on the bullpen by retiring the Spikes with only one walk (the plate umpire squeezed him, continuing a pattern of small strike zones for Cyclone hurlers and larger ones for Cyclone hitters that has particularly reared its ugly head throughout the week).
Even after winning only three times in the dog days of August, the Cyclones ended the night trailing the Aberdeen Ironbirds by a game and tied with the Hudson Valley Renegades as they head to a home and home series with the denizens of Dutchess County Stadium tonight and tomorrow.