“It’s the last thing that you want during a winning streak and something you look forward to on a losing streak,” said Cyclone Tom Gamboa returning to MCU after two days off for the New York Penn League All Star break.
Gamboa’s comments were in reference his team’s losing 13 of 16 games in early August to drop the team (29-31) from first to last in the McNamara Division, three games behind the first place 31-27 Staten Island Yankees.
It was obvious that the Cyclones returned home re-energized and were loose to begin the last third of the season as the team engaged in joking banter and horseplay in the dugout before the beginning of the August 19 game against the Lowell Spinners.
Toeing the rubber to start the game and still recovering from a groin strain, Tyler Badamo took the ball to pitch six sparkling innings, giving up just one run on two hits with five strikeouts and no walks in a 3-1 Cyclone win over the Spinners.
Lowell’s lone run came on a RBI double by outfielder Tate Matheny, the son of St. Louis Cardinal Manager Mike Matheny; while Vinny Siena’s triple to right field sent two Cyclone runners home for the much-needed win.
Commenting on his performance and the team’s first win after a losing streak, Badamo who ranks second in the league with 56 strikeouts and first with a 0.96 WHIP, stated, “I wasn’t at 100 percent tonight but I learned that I can pitch at 75 or 80 percent and still get outs. My pitching coach told me that the injury was a blessing in disguise and I can see how my stuff is sharper now when I don’t overthrow.”
On the night’s Cyclone victory to break the losing streak Badamo added, “The [All Star] break was the biggest factor of the win tonight. Everyone needed a break including the coaches. We got our heads out of baseball for those two days and tonight we were ready to go. During the last two weeks we went into ourselves when we’d start losing. But the biggest thing is to stay up and relaxed, hopefully to make a run.”
In the game following the 3-1 win over the Spinners, the Cyclones also won the next night over Lowell, 4-3 in extra innings, a rare and welcomed event this season as Pedro Perez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force in the winning run in the 11th inning.
Having lost so many games this season in extra innings, the team chased Perez down the first base line to swarm him in a jubilant sigh of relief and celebration.
Looking like the early August losing streak is behind them, the Cyclones won two out of three games this past weekend in Aberdeen as they return to MCU Park for another home stand against the pesky Hudson Valley Renegades and the same Aberdeen Ironbirds.