BROOKLYN, NY- The fireworks went off for
the first time this season in Coney Island; but it wouldn’t be from the Cyclones bats until the 15th inning,
where they would combine clutch hitting and phenomenal pitching, beating the Aberdeen Ironbirds, 1-0.
2004 Mets 41st round draft pick,
Jacob Ruckle would start tonight’s game for the Cyclones. Fortunately for him and his teammates, Ruckle pitched more
like a first-round pick, with the majority of Aberdeen’s hard hit balls being directed into the stands and their own
dugout, rather than on the playing field.
As good as Ruckle pitched, Aberdeen starter
Nathan Nery, who threw no-hit ball through 2 1/3 innings before giving up a bloop single to Cyclones first baseman Jeremy
Hambrice, was equally impressive. In five innings of work, Nery struck out six Cyclones before being replaced by Henry Lozado
in the top of the sixth.
The Cyclones pitching staff was on top
of the game again tonight, getting another solid pitching performance from their starter Ruckle, who would throw eight shutout
innings before being replaced by Joe Smith in the ninth.
Continuing the trend so far this young
season, the Cyclone bats didn’t produce much tonight, but unlike previous nights, Brooklyn had two golden opportunities
to score before this game went into extra innings.
Drawing two walks with no outs in the sixth,
Cyclones shortstop Jon Schemmel (four hits), would have his attempted sacrifice bunt fumbled by Lozado, leaving the bases
loaded with no outs for Jonathan Sanchez.
Unfortunately, Brooklyn's impotent
offensive attack and bad luck of late would continue, as Lozado would then get
Sanchez to ground into a 3-3-2 double play and after an Elvis Cruz strikeout, the game was still scoreless.
Lozado would get the Cyclones in order
in the seventh, but would get into trouble in eighth, giving up a one-out single to Luis Rivera. Aberdeen skipper Andy
Etchebarren would then give Lozado the hook in favor of six-foot-three lefty Tag Horner. Horner would then strike out Joe
Holden, but would give up a line drive single to Schemmel, leaving runners on first and second with two outs for Jonathan
Castillo, who would ground out to first to end the inning.
Cyclones reliever Joe Smith threw a scoreless
inning in the ninth, leaving the door open for the Cyclones to walk away with a win, but the Cyclones wouldn’t be up
to the task; leaving runners on first and second and sending the game into extra innings.
The goose eggs would continue to light
up the Keyspan Park scoreboard through
the top of the 12th, with the excitement and tension getting the best of Aberdeen
left fielder Corey Shafer, who was called out at the plate and later ejected after trying to run over Cyclones catcher Jason
Jacobs to end the top of the frame. Shafer even attempted to start a fight with Jacobs, who smartly retreated to his dugout.
The Cyclones couldn’t score in the
bottom of the 12th, and Grady Hinchman, who threw four scoreless innings after relieving Smith in the 10th,
pitched his heart out and kept the Cyclones in the game. The Cyclones however wouldn’t
show signs of life until the 13th, but would still leave the bases loaded after a failed suicide squeeze attempt by Jason
After Tim Haines came out of the Cyclones
bullpen to throw a scoreless inning in the top of the 15th, Jon Malo came through in the clutch for the Cyclones.
After Aberdeen reliever Chad Thall gave
up a single to Schemmel and intentionally walked Jake Eigsti, Malo laced a fastball into the gap in left center field to score
Schemmel from 2nd, giving the kids from Coney a 1-0 win.
After the game, Malo was still excited
about the win.
“I was just really pumped when they
decided to walk Jake (Eigsti),” said Malo. “I was just really excited to get a chance to hit.”