One swing of the bat was all it took for a series win to slip out of the Wilmington Blue Rocks’ hands on Sunday, August 14, when the team fell to the Brooklyn Cyclones in the series finale, 6-5, due to a go-ahead, ninth-inning home run.
Although the Blue Rocks ultimately fell short, they remained resilient throughout the contest and took away many positives.
After the Rocks fell in an early 2-0 hole in the top of the third inning, they came right back around and doubled that total in the bottom half of the inning, scoring four runs thanks to critical RBIs by Jose Sánchez, Onix Vega, Yasel Antuna, and Kevin Strohschein.
Then, after the Cyclones turned right around and scored two more runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game up at four runs a piece, the Blue Rocks retook the lead again with an RBI single by Ricardo Méndez.
Manager Mario Lisson spoke after the game about his team’s ability to stay resilient and bounce back after Brooklyn put the pressure on them.
“You always want to get something back once they score,” Lisson said. “Even if it’s only one run. We were able to put up four in the third inning and then one more in the fourth to take another lead. So it’s nice, we want to continue to do that and continue to have good at-bats, overall.”
Vega, who went 3-4 on the day with an RBI, spoke on the team’s offense as a whole and how they’ve been able to get on a roll recently.
“We’re getting more confident at the plate,” Vega said. “We’ve been having better at-bats, swinging more, playing for the team. That’s why we keep getting better every day.”
Starter Mitchell Parker did not have his best outing on Sunday afternoon. Parker went only 3 ⅓, allowing six hits, four earned runs, and two walks. However, the bullpen came in and impressed, which Lisson recognized after the game.
“[A.J.] Candelario did a good job, [Jack] Sinclair did a good job,” Lisson said. “They’ve been a force, and they continue to do that.”
With a 5-4 lead heading into the ninth inning and closer Jose A. Ferrer on the mound, the near-perfect outing from the Rocks’ pen came to an end. During a 2-1 count to pinch hitter Matt O’Neill, he came through with a one-out, go-ahead home run to dead center field that put the Cyclones on top 6-5. That would wind up being the final score, clinching a series tie between the two teams.
Lisson did not mince words after the ballgame, claiming “It’s disappointing.”
Wilmington will now try to right the ship and continue their playoff hunt on the road when they head to Jersey Shore to kick off another six-game series against the BlueClaws, beginning on Tuesday, August 16.
For comments/questions about this story tweet @TheWhitSports.