Brooklyn Cyclones pitcher Ricky Knapp was dominating in the bullpen this season, but couldn’t even get out of the second inning during his first start of the year on Thursday as the Cyclones lost the rubber match 7-3 to the Connecticut Tigers in Coney Island.
The Tigers struck right away with a three run first inning on three consecutive singles including a RBI single by Dominic Ficociello. A ground out quickly made it 2-0 and finally another RBI single by Pat Leyland made it 3-0 in the first. The Cyclones got one back in the bottom of the inning when Patrick Biondi scored on a ground out by L.J. Mazzilli, but the Tigers came back with two of their own in the second on RBI-singles by Ficociello and Ben Verlander to make it 5-1.
The Cyclones did make things interesting thanks to a run in each the second and third innings on a Edward Rohan RBI-double and another ground-out RBI by Mazzilli. However, tack on runs by the Tigers in the fifth and eighth made the rest of the game anti-climatic.
• The former first round pick Gavin Cecchini has really turned his season around thanks to an eight game hitting streak where he has hit .371/.389/.457. His numbers are still low overall, but with just 27 games play if he keeps this streak going that will change soon.
• Patrick Biondi has been on a bit of a tear lately as well. He’s 10-for-25 in his last six games which is good for a .400/.464/.560 line. The speedster hasn’t stolen a base in that stretch, but is still sitting in fourth place in the league with 15 stolen bases this season. He has also shown good patience at the plate with 22 walks which is good for seventh in the league.
• Jonathan Clark had struggled after his demotion from High-A to Short Season Single-A by going 0-for-14, but has turned it around and is now 9-for-25 in his last six games.
• Ricky Knapp’s ERA on the season is now 3.86 with a 5.1 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 which is good for a mediocre 1.60 K:BB ratio. His line Thursday: 1.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. It was his first professional start though so it’s only natural he’d have some jitters.
• The Cyclones dropped to two games behind the Aberdeen IronBirds for first place in the McNamara division as Aberdeen had the night off. They’re still just five games behind the State College Spikes, who finally had their nine game winning streak snapped.
• Brooklyn will take on first place State College in a three game series this weekend where they can make up big games in the division. Righy ace Miller Diaz takes the mound for Brooklyn on Friday against righty Kevin Herget.