After a 6-5 win in their first game back at Frawley Stadium for the first time since their 12-game road trip, the Wilmington Blue Rocks faced off against the Brooklyn Cyclones in games two and three of their eight-game series on Wednesday, June 15.
The doubleheader was a result of previous postponements between the two teams back in May.
The Blue Rocks picked up right where they left off in game one. After Ricardo Mendez smacked a leadoff double to right-center, Nick Banks ended up driving him in via sacrifice fly to give Wilmington an early 1-0 advantage.
With both starting pitchers, Junior Sanchez for the Cyclones and Rodney Theophile for the Blue Rocks, dealing from that point forward, the score remained 1-0 in favor of Wilmington all the way up until the top of the fifth inning. This was when Shervyen Newton blasted a bomb to right field with two men on base to give the Cyclones their first lead of the night at 3-1.
The Blue Rocks would fail to respond and in fact, allow Brooklyn to extend their lead even further. In the top of the seventh, Matt Rudick slapped an RBI double into the right-center field gap to score Jaylen Palmer and bring the Cyclones’ advantage to 4-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, Omar Meregildo helped the Blue Rocks cut the Cyclones’ lead with a two-run blast to deep left field for his tenth home run of the season. But ultimately, the Blue Rocks couldn’t get the job done and dropped game one by a final score of 4-2.
Even with Meregildo extending his 2022 home run total to double-digits, he remains hungry for more.
“I want more,” Meregildo said. “I’m working for more… I try to hit the ball every time, it doesn’t matter if it’s a hit, error, an out, line drive, fly ball, whatever. That’s my goal. When I hit the ball, something happens; base hit, home run, double… I’m happy that I helped my team, and tomorrow is another day.”
Manager Mario Lisson chimed in on Meregildo, making it clear that he has high hopes for the 24-year-old.
“There’s a lot of potential for him offensively,” Lisson said. “He has to continue to stay ready every day, get his work in early, and prepare for the game. Hopefully, he can continue.”
Recently promoted pitcher Theophile took the mound at home for the first time for the Blue Rocks in the team’s first matchup of the night and turned in a solid outing. Wilmington’s starter went five innings, allowing four hits, one walk, and three earned runs, while also striking out five Cyclones. Lisson was very pleased with this performance from Theophile.
“Theophile was doing a great job in Low-A, so he earned his promotion here,” Lisson said. “He’s been good so far. Today he left a couple pitches over the plate, but he’s been good so far.”
Game two had a much different outcome for Wilmington. Similar to game one, the Blue Rocks struck first in the top of the first inning thanks to an RBI double by Yasel Antuna and an RBI single by Israel Pineda to give the Blue Rocks the early 2-0 lead.
The Cyclones were quick to strike back, with Brandon McIlwain driving in an RBI double in the bottom of the first to cut the deficit to 2-1. Tanner Murphy then came inches away from a go-ahead three-run homer to left field, but ultimately ended up with an RBI triple to tie up the game at two runs a piece.
A back-and-forth offensive battle ensued between the two teams, with the score being tied up at 5-5 as the teams headed into the top of the sixth. This is when the Blue Rocks began to pull away, with Antuna, Darren Baker, and Cole Daily all contributing RBIs to extend the lead 9-5– the final score of the game.
Lisson was much more pleased with his team’s performance in the back end of the doubleheader compared to game one.
“The idea is to stay aggressive all the time,” Lisson said. “I think our second game was much better. We hit the fastball, and that’s the main thing for us.”
The Blue Rocks have now won four out of their last five games, and they will look to keep the hot streak rolling on Thursday evening in game four against the Cyclones.
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