July 25 at MCU Park
Jose Maria and Ricardo Cespedes hit home runs but the Ironbirds came back twice to beat the Cyclones during a rare day game.
Our boys got themselves on the board early. Maria’s two-out solo shot in the second came an inning before Walter “Rabbi” Rasquin’s sacrifice fly made it 2–0.
The Ironbirds didn’t waste any time catching up. Ben Breazeale doubled to lead off the fourth, then Mason McCoy singled up the middle to score Breazeale and advanced to second on the throw home. After Ryan Ripken walked, Luke Ringhofer grounded out to advance McCoy to third before Tristan Graham hit another ground out to score McCoy and tie the game.
Cespedes broke the tie with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, but the Ironbirds caught up and then some the next inning.
After Garrett Copeland hit a lead-off single, Kirvin Moesquit doubled to score Copeland before Breazeale and McCoy hit consecutive singles to score Moesquit and take the lead.
The Clones got close to tying came in the eighth inning when the Rabbi doubled with one out, but he got caught in a pickle between second and third on a grounder from Quinn “Chief” Brodey that turned into a double play.
Maria’s and Cespedes’ home runs increased the Cyclones’ home run total from five to seven, which still ties them for lowest in the league with the Batavia Muckdogs.
Manager Edgardo Alfonzo was glad to see the guys hit a few out of the park, but wants the team to aim for consistency rather than home runs.
“It’s great to see Ces going deep and getting that confidence that he can hit the ball out, and Maria, too, since he’s a power guy, but he needs to stay through the middle more,” Fonzie said. “We have guys who can hit the ball out, but right now we are concentrating more on approach at home plate.”
The loss puts the Cyclones at 12–23, dead last in the McNamara Division and three-and-a-half games ahead of the Hudson Valley Renegades in the “Battle for the Basement.” The Renegades kept pace with the Cyclones with a 7–6 loss to the Connecticut Tigers in 11 innings.
The Cyclones get today off, and start what’s being called the “Death of Hope” six-game road trip against the Lowell Spinners Thursday night at 6:35 pm.