After Saturday’s July 1 rain stalled the evening’s game with the Connecticut Tigers who maintained a 5-2 second inning lead, the Cyclones resumed the contest on the following day as the first game of a doubleheader.
Fortunately for Brooklyn, which was riding a seven-game losing streak, Sunday was Marvel Comic Superhero Day that provided the Cyclones with patriotic red, white and blue 75th anniversary Captain America jerseys.
Taking advantage of their new superhero persona, the Cyclones posted their first long-awaited home win of the season. In that game, fans saw right fielder Jose Miguel Medina steal a base, and hit a triple as well as a go-ahead home run to put the Cyclones up 7-5 in the sixth inning for the eventual 7-6 win over the Connecticut Tigers.
However, in the second game, the Tigers would squeeze by the Cyclones 3-2 despite a decent seven-inning outing by pitcher Jose Carlos Medina.
Despite losing the second game to improve the team’s last place record to 3-9, Cyclones Manager Edgardo Alfonzo was pleased with Medina’s pitching performance and the way his team finally hit the ball.
When asked if Sunday’s Captain America jerseys had any effect on his team’s performance in winning the first game, Alfonzo wryly answered, “Do you think we could wear these tomorrow?” Actually the fabled jerseys were auctioned off to fans after the doubleheader, leaving it to the players to carry on Sunday’s momentum.
One of the Cyclones players contributing to that momentum has been the recently signed Matt Winaker, the Mets 2017 fifth round draft pick out of Stanford. The southpaw Winaker is starting to anchor the infield at first base with a natural ease reminiscent of former New York Met Keith Hernandez.
Noting that he is very proud of his defense, the 2017 All PAC-12 Defensive Player stated, “On the defensive end I can save runs even if I’m not producing them.”
On the offensive side, Winaker is also taking advantage of the hitting tutelage provided by Cyclones Hitting Coach Sean Ratliff who was also a standout at Stanford. “It’s cool to learn from Rat; someone who’s been there and done it. I’m picking his brain all the time and asking him questions because he’s a guy that’s had success in pro ball.”
Summing up his first weeklong experience with the team, Winaker remarked, “Overall it’s been an awesome experience for me. Getting drafted was an amazing day. It was something that I was dreaming about for a long time.”