Cyclones split doubleheader as Akeel Morris makes starting debut

Akeel Morris made his first start of the season for the Cyclones and tossed five shutout innings as he continued his phenominal season. Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Akeel Morris made his first start of the season for the Cyclones and tossed five shutout innings as he continued his phenomenal season. Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Cyclones.

It wasn’t Akeel Morris first start of his career, but it was his first start with the Brooklyn Cyclones and it was a good one as he lead the ‘Clones to 3-2 victory in the first game of the doubleheader against Staten Island. The Baby Bombers then beat out Brooklyn in the nightcap 5-2 in Coney Island on Monday night.

GAME 1 (3-2 win over the Yankees)

Things started out well. Morris, who pitched five scoreless innings with five strikeouts, five hits, and three walks, didn’t run into any trouble at all until he walked the leadoff batter in the fourth and then gave up a hit to put two runners on with no outs. He was lead off the hook that inning only to load the bases again in the fifth thanks to back-to-back walks. Once again, he escaped with a big two-out strikeout.

By that point Morris had a 2-0 lead though thanks to runs in the third and fourth inning. The Cyclones first run was scored after Edward Rohan doubled and scored on a ground out. The second came after two walks, a hit by pitch, and then a Patrick Biondi RBI-single to drive in Alex Sanchez.

The Yankees scored their first run in the sixth to make it 2-1 when Isaias Tejada scored on a Abital Avelino RBI-single off of Cristian Chivilli. The Cyclones got one back later that inning when Juan Carlos Gamboa reached on a fielder’s choice, moved up twice on wild pitches and then scored on a passed ball.

The Yankees nearly came back, they loaded the bases against Chivilli, David Wynn came on and gave up what could have been the game tying hit, but after Mike Ford scored, Kale Sumner was thrown out at home plate to end the game, 3-2.

GAME 2 (5-2 loss to the Yankees)

The second game did not go the Cyclones way. They scored two in the second inning when Tomas Nido drove in both Jared King and James Roche on a two-RBI double, but that was all the offense they would get. Yankees reliever Sam Agnew-Wieland put on a show striking out eight in three innings as he and Stefan Lopez struck out 10 of the final 12 batters.

With the way the offense was dominated, the pitching staff needed to step up. Unfortunately, Kevin McGowan was victimized for three runs over three innings and reliever Ricky Knapp wasn’t much better as he allowed two runs in 3.1 frames.

The Yankees first three runs came in the third when Yeicok Calderon picked up a RBI single and Mike Ford a two-RBI double to make it 3-2. They tacked on a few more in the seventh when Johnny Magliozzi came in and immediately walked two to walk in a run (charged to Knapp). Magliozzi was ejected by home plate umpire after a sac fly made it 5-2.

Gavin Cecchini went 0-for-3 in the first game of the doubleheader which ended his hitting streak at 16 games. That’s just one short of tying the team record which would have been cool to see especially after he was so horrible in July and only had two hits in the entire month prior to this stretch.

• Before the game the Cyclones held a re-dedication ceremony at the Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese statue after it was vandalized earlier this month as part of Diversity Day. After the game they screened the movie “42” as part of the celebration.

• Splitting the two games, along with an Aberdeen IronBirds win, knocks the Cyclones down to 1.5 games out of first place in the McNamara division. The Jamestown Jammers and State College Spikes also won so they are now 5.5 behind them for the Wild Card.

• The Cyclones will host the Baby Bombers again on Tuesday with lefty Dario Alvarez going up against righty David Palladino.

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