2004-07-09 / Sports

Burt Can Play In Spotlight

By Elio Velez

Burt Can Play In Spotlight

Jim Burt gets the pickoff throw while playing at first base for the Miami Hurricanes.Jim Burt gets the pickoff throw while playing at first base for the Miami Hurricanes.

By Elio Velez

Jim Burt, Jr. had an eventful first week with the Cyclones. Jim Burt, Sr., who was a member of the New York Giants 1986 Super Bowl team, drove him to Keyspan Park from Laguardia Airport.

The former Miami Hurricanes player had a forgettable first game on June 30 when he hit into two double plays and was picked off of first base in an 11-3 loss to Hudson Valley. Burt did not get down on himself after that game.

In a 5-5 tie in the 10th inning against Williamsport on July 3, Cyclones manager Tony Tijerina gave Burt the chance to redeem himself. With a runner on second, Burt rapped a line drive single to centerfield to score Caleb Stewart for the winning run in a 6-5 Cyclones victory.

"I was ready for the opportunity to be in that situation", Burt said. "I wanted to be aggressive and get my hacks".

Burt is used to the spotlight focused on him. As a 5-year-old boy, a television audience watched as Burt Jr. was lifted to his father’s shoulders after the Giants won the Super Bowl. He was also a member of the 2001 Miami Hurricanes College World Series champions.

Burt has also proven his skills in the classroom with such honors as being named to the Verizon Academic All American Team and Miami’s honor rolls. He graduated with a degree in business in 2003 and is currently in graduate school studying sports administration.

Burt will split time at first base and DH with Tyler Davidson. Tijerina is already impressed by what the 5’11, 230 pound player can do. "He’s a hard worker, listens and he’s used to playing in pressure situations," Tijerina said. "He’s fearless. That’s what I like about him. He doesn’t care who’s pitching. He knows he can play this game".

A Rock in The Rotation

The Cyclones are expecting pitcher Evan Maclane (2-1, 1.45 ERA) to be the rock of the starting rotation.

In Capital City (Full Season Single A in South Carolina), Maclane proved that he can pitch deep into ballgames with a 5-2 record, a 2.39 ERA in 67 innings. He also has excellent control in which he has allowed only 10 walks and struck out 80 batters in 85 innings combined with Cap City and Brooklyn.

Maclane also has the experience of a pitching in a championship race with the Cyclones in 2003. He joined the team late in the season after being brought up from the Rookie A Kingsport team and won a playoff game against Oneonta.

"He’s a seasoned veteran who can throw 90-95 pitches a game", Manager Tony Tijerina said. "As a veteran, the younger guys can learn things from Maclane."

Looking Ahead

The Cyclones are 11-8 and in second place in the McNamara Division in the New York Penn League. They are two games behind division leader Aberdeen and half game ahead of Hudson Valley.

It should be a very interesting week as the Staten Island Yankees arrive today in Brooklyn for the first game of a three game home and away series. The Cyclones will then play three home games against Williamsport.

On July 13, the Cyclones expect to honor the one-millionth fan to go through the turnstiles. The lucky fan will have the chance to win a million dollars.

Memories of Gibson’s Heroics

Infielder Ryan Coultas has fond memories of watching the Los Angeles Dodgers when he was growing up. The Ventura, California native remembered attending the first game of the 1988 World Series when he was six years old.

"It was a such a cool game and I remembered Jose Canseco hitting a laser over the centerfield fence", said Coultas, who is playing in his first professional season after being drafted in the 6th round.

The game will be remembered for Kirk Gibson’s pinch-hit two run homer off of Dennis Eckersley in the 9th to give the Dodgers a 5-4 win and eventually the series in 5 games. "

You knew something was going to happen," Coultas, who is hitting .267 in 8 games with the Cyclones, said. "It was awesome."

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