2005-06-24 / Sports

Cyclones Win Sloppy Home Opener

By Elio Velez


Jeff Landing delivers for the Cyclones. Photos By Pete Borriello.Jeff Landing delivers for the Cyclones. Photos By Pete Borriello. A record attendance of 9,303 at Keyspan Park last Tuesday watched the Brooklyn Cyclones win 10-7 over Staten Island on opening day in Brooklyn.

The fans have seen enough excitement in the five years that Brooklyn has been in existence. And they received more of it as the bat of outfielder Jesus Gamero gave the crowd more to cheer about.

In the top of the seventh, Cyclones reliever Travis Hope didn’t live up to his name as the Yankees’ Kyle Larsen rapped a two run RBI single to tie the game at 4.

Jesus Gamero hit the game winning home run.Jesus Gamero hit the game winning home run. But Gamero came to the rescue as he knocked a two run homer in the bottom of the seventh, which hit the left field scoreboard, that gave the Cyclones a 6-4 lead.

Manager Mookie Wilson says his return to New York was made much easier by the player he oversaw while as the skipper of Rookie A ball Kingsport last season.

“It (home run) kind of picked the pressure off of everyone after we gave up the lead. It shows a lot of character to bounce back,” Wilson said. “Gamero is one of mine. I’ve had him two years and he’s the best player I had last year.”

Joseph Holden and Edgar Alfonzo wait for the start of the game.Joseph Holden and Edgar Alfonzo wait for the start of the game. It wasn’t a well played game as both sides committed six errors, four wild pitches and shaky defensive play.

“Those kinks will iron out in time. I expected a bit of sloppiness. I’m not surprised by it,” Wilson said. “I expected some rough edges because they’re trying to get their timing.”

But there were some bright spot for the Cyclones.Pitcher Jeff Landing showed poise on the mound as the Cyclones hurler got out of a bases loaded jam to keep the score at 4-2. After giving up two runs in the fifth, he got John Potterson to look at strike three to end the innings. In six innings, he struck out 4 batters and only allowed two runs.

American Idol Finalist Constantine Maroulis sings the national anthem with the U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard holding the flag.
American Idol Finalist Constantine Maroulis sings the national anthem with the U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard holding the flag. On his first night as manager, Wilson said that the huge crowd and dignitaries present such as New York Mets GM Omar Minya and COO Jeff Wilpon gave him a bit of nervousness. Even with many years of being under the spotlight with the Mets in the 1980’s, Wilson quickly reminded himself that he was back in New York.

Cyclones manager Mookie Wilson signs a ball for one of the fans.Cyclones manager Mookie Wilson signs a ball for one of the fans. “This was very exciting. I was not nervous until five minutes before the game and all of a sudden I got butterfiles. I knew when I got butterflies, I knew I was ready,” said Wilson after the game.

“I played here for 10 years and I had butterflies every game because that’s who I am and it helps me keep an edge.”

His current team was encouraged to play a style reminiscent of the 1959 “go-go” Chicago White Sox. They not only stole four bases, but they also kept pressure on the basepaths.

He won’t reveal a style just a yet but Wilson is pleased with the effort.

“One thing I want is to keep the kids loose. You got lead them along the way to make sure that they do things. We let them know that they shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes,” Wilson said.

“I wanted proved a point in the very first game and set the tone, relax and know it’s ok to screw up.”

Notes

American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis sang the national anthem. A Brooklyn resident, he will tour with past and present American Idol contestants during the summer. Joan Hodges, the wife of the late Brooklyn Dodgers’ Gil Hodges

The Cyclones fell at the home opener in Staten Island last Wednesday 5-2. Edgar Alfonzo., whose uncle is former New York Mets’ Edgardo Alfonzo, gave up three runs in the bottom of the seventh to break up a 2-2 tie.

Brooklyn returns today to start a four game homestand. They will leave on Tuesday to play at New Jersey but will play them again at home on Wednesday.

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