First baseman comes through with game-winning double in 12th
By John Torenli, Sports Editor
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
While LJ Mazzilli and Gavin Cecchini have received much of the attention thus far this summer on Coney Island, Cyclones first baseman Matt Oberste is emerging as one of Brooklyn's most reliable everyday players.
The native Oklahoman drove that point home Monday night as the Cyclones pulled out a dramatic 5-4, 12-inning victory over the Connecticut Tigers before 1,974 fans at Dodd Stadium.
After squandering a two-run lead in the ninth, Brooklyn appeared on the verge of dropping the series to the Tigers, who rebounded from Saturday's series-opening 2-1 loss with a 6-4 victory on Sunday.
But the Cyclones, bolstered by two innings of scoreless relief from John Mincone (2-1), were able to keep Connecticut at bay until staging a rally of their own.
Jared King led off the 12th with a walk, and was sacrificed to second by Eris Pequero. That brought Oberste to the plate with a chance to snap the 4-4 deadlock.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound University of Oklahoma product, who had delivered an RBI single in the fourth inning, came through again by drilling a run-scoring double into the gap in left-center field, plating King and helping the Cyclones enter their day off Tuesday with a winning taste in their mouths.
"We had a little losing streak going there, and I think [we really needed this one]." noted Oberste, who also helped Brooklyn end a season-high four-game slide back on July 3 with a walk-off sacrifice fly against the rival Staten Island Yankees at MCU Park in Coney Island.
For the season, Oberste is batting .243 over his first 26 games as a professional after being selected by the Mets in the seventh round of the June MLB Draft. The former Sooners star has shown a penchant for driving in runs despite his mediocre average, leading the Cyclones with 15 RBIs while hitting at a healthy .292 clip on the road.
Oberste also has thrived against left-handed pitching, battzing a sizzling .393 (11-for-28) with two doubles and six RBIs when matched up with southpaws.
Mazzilli went 2-for-6 with a run scored Monday, boosting his batting average to .299, and King added a pair of hits, including a double, and also drove in a run for Brooklyn, which entered its one-day All-Star Break with a 12-16 mark.
The Cyclones, who will kick off a six-game homestand against Mahoning Valley on Wednesday night, are 4 1/2 games behind first-place Hudson Valley in the McNamara Division race, but still have well over half a season to reel the Renegades in as they pursue their third consecutive playoff berth under manager Rich Donnelly.