Brooklyn pulls within half game of top spot with latest win
By John Torenli, Sports Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Matt Oberste has certainly made the most of his 42 hits for Brooklyn this summer, ranking second on the team in RBIs despite a .206 batting average and a .245 on-base percentage.
The seventh-round pick out of the University of Oklahoma once again displayed his penchant for saving his best for when the Cyclones need him most Tuesday night at Coney Island's MCU Park.
Brooklyn continued its push toward the McNamara's top spot with a 2-0 blanking of Staten Island before a crowd of 6,048 division-title hungry fans.
After starter Dario Alvarez resumed his recent run of stinginess on the mound, working around six walks to toss five scoreless innings, the Cyclones found themselves in a 0-0 deadlock with the last-place Yankees.
Hitless in his first two plate appearances of the evening, Oberste, who had managed just one hit in his previous 16 at-bats, found himself up with two out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning.
As he has done so often this season, the first baseman from Oklahoma found a way to deliver in the clutch for the surging Cyclones.
He rapped an offering from reliever Andy Beresford into center field for a two-run single, putting Brooklyn in front to stay as the Baby Bums held on for their seventh win in 10 games.
“I was just trying to get one over the infield,” Oberste said of his game-winning hit.
With the victory, the Cyclones moved within one-half game of first-place Aberdeen in the McNamara standings entering Wednesday night's visit to Staten Island.
With only 15 games remaining on the tightly packed summer schedule, including a huge two-game set with the first-place IronBirds on Surf Avenue at the end of the month, manager Rich Donnelly's resilient unit is in position to pull out its third straight postseason appearance.
Much as he had during his final weeks as a Sooner at the University of Oklahoma earlier this year, Oberste is proving to be the Cyclones' top go-to-guy in the clutch.
On May 27, it was Oberste who homered and drove in four runs in the Sooners' Big 12 Championship clinching 7-2 win over Kansas. That big performance came after he broke the school’s all-time hit-streak record with a 30-game run earlier in the campaign.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound first-year pro hasn't taken long to display his coolness in big situations as a Cyclone.
Through his first 55 games with Brooklyn, Oberste has 22 RBIs. That's only three fewer than team leader and New York-Penn League All-Star L.J. Mazzilli, who has 24 more hits than Oberste, and leads club regulars with a .299 batting average.
Though he has the second-lowest average of any player on the 14-team circuit with at least 20 RBIs, Oberste has proven to be an important cog in Donnelly's everyday lineup. Especially against left-handers, against whom he his batting .315 (17-for-54) with three doubles, a homer and eight RBIs this summer.
During Brooklyn's recent 10-game surge, the 22-year-old product of Salisaw, Okla., is hitting .257 with five RBIs.
Despite growing up in the Midwest, Oberste actually grew up a Mets fan as New York third baseman David Wright was his favorite player.
“They’ve been my favorite team,” he said in a recent radio interview. “It’s the weirdest thing. David Wright is my favorite player. He’s a third baseman, wears No. 5 and when I was younger, I was a third baseman and wore 5. To be in that organization now is just great.”
This, That and the Other Thing: With Tuesday's strong effort, LHP Alvarez has not yielded just one earned run on 10 hits over 15 innings spanning his last three outings. though he has not picked up a win in any of those starts. ... Fellow southpaw Juan Urbina (2-1) was credited with the win Tuesday, following Alvarez with two hitless frames. ... RHP Johnny Magliozzi tied All-Star closer John Mincone with his sixth save after yielding one hit in a scoreless ninth. ... LF Jared King went 1-for-3 with a run scored Tuesday, but even more importantly, picked up a pair of outfield assists. The Kansas State alum gunned down Kale Sumner at the plate in the second inning and nailed Trent Garrison at second in the fourth, helping Alvarez work out of his early jams due mainly to control issues. ... After putting together a team season-high 15-game hitting streak, SS Gavin Cecchini is 0-for-7 in his last two starts. ... Brooklyn currently ranks second in the league with a 2.67 team ERA...MCU Park will host the 14th annual FDNY/NYPD charity baseball game this Friday night. The game, which will benefit Hurricane Sandy charities, will begin at 7 p.m., with gates opening at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 and children under 6 years of age will get in free. For ticket info, call 718-507-TIXX or log on to the team website.