STATEN ISLAND, NY-It took a while but things are finally coming together for the Baby Bombers (4-6), who posted a third straight win by taking care of the Ironbirds 5-2 in front of a packed house (7,171) at Richmond County Bank Ball Park in St. George.
“It’s been a great couple of days,” said third baseman Rob Lyerly in the winner’s dugout following a three hit night. “We just gotta keep rolling here.”
One of those hits (leadoff double) started a two-run third that put the Bombers ahead to stay. He scored the go-ahead run on Kelvin Castro’s RBI single. With 1-2 punch Jim Paredes and Castro in scoring position, center fielder Zolio Almonte tagged one to the right field track but Aberdeen’s Jason Rook perfectly timed it taking away a home run. Instead, each runner got back to the bases tagging up with Paredes easily scoring to make it 3-1.
“I was fortunate. I had to struggle a little bit. So hopefully, I get rolling,” Lyerly modestly noted while heaping praise on the Staten Island pitchers, who nursed a one-run lead until first baseman Lyle Murton delivered two huge insurance runs when he crushed a two out eighth inning two-run home run to deep left that wound up as the final margin.
Staten Island got a solid outing from Shaeffer Hall, who worked the first four and two thirds splitting a pair of runs while striking out seven. Most impressive was the southpaw’s command tossing 52 of 70 pitches for strikes.
“I just went out there and I felt really good. Just being able to throw in front of the home crowd, it was really nice,” he said.
“Overall, I felt good. All my pitches were working. Tried to mix in a few more change ups than I did last outing. Just trying to build every start. I wanted to be better than my first outing. … Overall, I felt really good. Got some run support and we played very well.“
Hall also got help from a trio of relievers including winning pitcher Gavin Brooks (1-0), who came in with the tying run at second and got Booker to fly out to end the threat. He tossed one and a third scoreless K-ing two before giving way to Ben Watkins (2 IP, 2 H, 2 K’s) and Ryan Flannery, who closed it for his first save.
“The pitchers pitched great once again. They’ve been dealing. … We had only a one-run lead but they kept getting people out inning after inning after inning,” Lyerly pointed out.
“They did a great job. They did what they were supposed to do out there. They threw strikes. I know I had a couple of errors. Should have made a couple of plays that I didn’t make. But they did a great job throwing the ball there,” added Murton.
Still nursing a 3-2 lead, the Bombers blew a chance to pad it leaving the bases loaded in the seventh. However, they finally got the key insurance when Murton went yard with a runner on the next inning.
“It felt really good. Obviously, it was my first professional home run which wasÂ nice to get it out of the way. … It was good to come up in the eighth inning with two outs and able to get a couple of insurance runs.”
Following Murton’s second miscue of the night, Flannery picked his teammate up by getting the final out with the first baseman appropriately enough, atoning with an unassisted putout.
“I think the other night made us feel a little bit better. Last night was just a great win,” Murton assessed of Staten Island’s five-run comeback in a wild 8-7 walkoff that saw them score six in the final two innings.
“The pitchers have been pitching great all year. And to pick them up yesterday. To comeback and win the game, it gave our team a lot of confidence. It gave our pitchers confidence that they’re gonna get the job done cause we’d struggled. And we know that they’re gonna get the job done for us if we struggle.”
“Come out. Take advantage of another good hitting performance and another good pitching performance. And come out with a win.”
Notes: Staten Island wraps up the six-game homestand later tonight when they aim for the sweep versus Aberdeen with first pitch at 7 PM. They’ll then kickoff a rare home-and-home by traveling to archrival Lowell for three before the Spinners visit the Ferry Terminal for three beginning on the Fourth of July with plenty of fireworks to follow. … S.I. Yanks have soldout four of the first five games. They had 16 sellouts last season.
… Of Paredes and Castro who wreaked havoc at the top of the order combining to go 4-for-6 with two runs along with two walks and a stolen base (Paredes 5th), Murton stated:
“Those guys are awesome. Once they get on base, they wreak havoc. Like tonight, Jimmy stole the first pitch. Foul ball. Next pitch, he goes and steals again. They’ve done a great job for us. They’ve been awesome.”