Blue Rocks stay hot with third consecutive victory

James Wood celebrates in the dugout after scoring in the first inning. Sunday, May 14, 2023. - Staff Photographer / Joe Capuyan

The Wilmington Blue Rocks (17-15) defeated the Brooklyn Cyclones (11-19) on Sunday 6-5 in dramatic fashion for their third straight win.

In the first, it was all Blue Rocks. A 1-2-3 eight pitch top of the inning for Andrew Alvarez was followed up by a three-run bottom half of the inning for the offense. A leadoff single for Viandel Pena on the second pitch of the game, was followed up with an RBI double off the bat of Jacob Young. 

James Wood followed up Young’s double with a double of his own to score Young and give the Rocks a 2-0 advantage. A groundout by Trey Lipscomb would move Wood over to third and a single up the middle off the bat of Will Frizzell would bring him home to make it a 3-0 ball game. 

“It’s always good to hit with runners on base,” manager Mario Lisson said. “They [Pena and Young] have been doing a really good job of getting on base and hopefully they continue to do that and give guys opportunities to drive in runs.” 

In the second, the Cyclones got it going. Stanley Consuegra led off the inning with a strikeout but reached base safely on a wild pitch. That mistake would end up being costly as it would be followed up with a two-run inning for the Cyclones. An RBI double for William Lugo would bring in Consuegra and after advancing to third on a groundout, Lugo would score on an RBI groundout by Chase Estep to make it 3-2. 

In the third, the Cyclones would tie the game. A leadoff walk for Joe Suozzi would be followed up with a single off the bat of Kevin Kendall. With two on and nobody out, Suozzi stole third and scored on a throwing error to tie the game. 

Alvarez would stay in the game and in the fourth, he saw the Cyclones take the lead. A one out single by Estep was followed up with an RBI triple for Mateo Gil. Gil would score one batter later thanks to a sacrifice fly by Suozzi to make it 5-3 Brooklyn.

After coming back to defeat the Cyclones in walk-off fashion on both Friday and Saturday, the Rocks would have to mount another comeback. 

It started for them in the fifth. A leadoff double for Wood got things going for the Rocks and a wild pitch would advance him to third with nobody out. An RBI single from Caleb Farmer would bring home Wood and make it a one-run game. 

In the seventh, Wood would put an exclamation point on his day at the plate with a leadoff, game-tying solo home run that went 426 feet to center field. 

“I was just going up there looking to be aggressive,” Wood said. “I just got a fastball and was able to do something with it.”

Wood also gave the top of the lineup some credit for his big day at the plate as well as he ended going 3-3 with two doubles, two walks and a home run.

“It definitely feeds into that energy,” Wood said. “When one guy is up and he gets on base, it’s kind of that next man up mentality…It’s really easy to feed off of those guys.”

The comeback was not completed yet though as they would enter the eighth inning knotted at five. After a scoreless top half of the eighth, the Rocks would have a chance to take the lead.

After drawing a one out walk, Jordy Barley put himself into scoring position with his ninth stolen base of the season. After a Young flyout moved Barley over to third, the Cyclones intentionally walked Wood. With a man on third and two away, Lipscomb stepped to the plate with a chance to take the lead. After falling behind 0-2, he ripped a single up the middle to bring in the go-ahead run and put the Rocks up 6-5.

“We continue to battle,” Lisson said. “Continue to stay in the game and have an opportunity to come back. The pitchers have done a good job doing that and the offense has been responding.”

The Cyclones would go down 1-2-3 in the ninth to give the Rocks their third straight come back victory as they head into their off day. The Rocks will now travel to Lakewood, New Jersey as they start a six game series with the Jersey Shore Blue Claws on Tuesday night with first pitch scheduled for 6:05.