STATEN ISLAND, NY– There are moments which are shared experiences, memories etched in time. They are there as tools of reminiscence on days of difficulty. Nothing exemplifies these feelings quite like a game of baseball on Father’s Day. Deep connections are built between generation as they bond over a game followed fervently by all ages.
The start of the New York-Penn League season provides the apt opportunity to reinforce family unity and the universal interest in baseball. The Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees entered Father’s Day with one win apiece to open the season, each vying for the series victory to set the tone for the short season slate. Four errors in the first five innings for Staten Island would prove to be the difference in a 6-4 Brooklyn victory.
Will Carter, the Yankees 14th round pick in this year’s draft, made the start for Staten Island to get a sufficient amount of work in game action. Despite typically pitching in relief, he would be rudely welcomed to the New York-Penn League.
After successfully recording the first two outs in the top of the first inning, a walk to Vinny Siena and a stolen base set up an RBI double by Michael Bernal, an NYPL All-Star a season ago to put the Brooklyn on top.
The Baby Bombers were missing the presence of first round draft pick Kyle Holder due to a hamstring injury and his gaping void would be felt when understudy Thairo Estrada booted a ground ball in the hole to put Staten Island in a 2-0 deficit before coming to bat. One more error by Carter would spell the end of his day after just two-thirds of an inning.
“Errors are part of the game,” Staten Island manager Pat Osborn said. “You are going to run into games where you have 3-4 errors. It is a recipe for disaster. How they recover from them is what we look for here.”
James Reeves, formerly of the Citadel would pitch into third inning, striking out three. Matthew Borens would take over for Staten Island, after starting off smoothly he ran into some trouble in the 5th inning after club’s third error of the game. In a battle of similar names, Brooklyn’s Mathieu got the better of Staten Island’s Matthew on a two run single to up the lead to four.
Michael Gibbons took the mound for Brooklyn opposing Carter and had little trouble early in the game, allowing just a single to designated hitter Griffin Gordon through the first five innings of play. Gibbons would allow just two runs and two hits in 5.2 innings of work.
“He did a good job with his slider, getting some chases.” Osborn said. “He pounded the strike zone and used his changeup and we really just did not hit him.” The Staten Island Yankees would crack the scoreboard on two RBI doubles by Estrada and Eduardo de Oleo, cutting the margin to 5-2. Jhalan Jackson, the hitting star for Staten Island during the first two games with two home runs in each contest, could not replicate his previous results in the inning. He struck out with two runners on base, curtailing the threat.
Another opportunity followed in the bottom of the 7th inning after back-to-back walks. Estrada’s second run batted in cut the deficit to 5-4, and to redeem himself for his first inning miscue, Brooklyn would get one back on a solo home run by designated hitter Jeff Diehl. The first for the club this season, capping off the eventual victory.
Like turnovers in the NFL, errors are the bane of any team’s existence in baseball as frustration mounts. Long innings develop into extended games, forcing pitchers to exert extra energy and endurance to record additional outs to officially complete an inning. Short season leagues commonly see more errors than the higher levels as players begin to develop and learn the nuances of positioning, situations, and tendencies.
The Brooklyn Cyclones and the Staten Island Yankees ranked near the bottom of the New York-Penn League in defensive efficiency, constantly moving players around and instructing sound fundamentals. An absence of a full spring training, coupled with a lack of familiarity with the ballparks itself are also contributing factors.
The Staten Island Yankees will be poised to bounce back on a six game road trip to Connecticut and Tri-City beginning on Monday night. The Brooklyn Cyclones will mirror the Staten Island schedule with six consecutive home games against the Tri-City ValleyCats and the Connecticut Tigers respectively, completing a stretch of nine straight games for the club in the New York metropolitan area.