Devaney Marvelous in Cyclones Victory

It took Michael Devaney nine starts to get his first professional win, partly because of command problems that gave him a high pitch count and forced him to leave the game before the fifth inning. However, Devaney has been much more pitch efficient lately going 3-0 in his last three starts with a 1.00 ERA. Devaney has allowed one earned run or less, in ten of his eleven starts this season. Devaney led the Cyclones to a 3-1 victory over the Aberdeen IronBirds Sunday afternoon.

Devaney lowered his season ERA to 1.79, but even more impressive was only allowing one walk.

Devaney a 22 year old from Concordia University certainly has begun to make some noise for himself over his last three starts, and has given the fans of KeySpan and the NY Mets a glimpse of the type of pitcher he can be when he throws strikes.

"One of the things he has had trouble with was being consistent with his release point" said Cyclones pitching coach Hector Berrios. "Today he found it and was efficient with his pitches."

Devaney threw just 81 pitches going seven innings allowing just four hits and one run, which was unearned.

"That is just outstanding" said manager Tony Tijerina. "There wasn't a necessity to send him back out in the seventh, but hit pitch count was low and he was just so effective."

Said Devaney: "I am real pleased with the amount of strikes I threw today, and that has been my goal after my first few starts that I struggled with my control. I really made myself focus and that has really worked for me."

Devaney had thrown 72 pitches after the sixth inning and had just 13 left until he would reach the organizational pitch count for this level which is set at 85 pitches. He started the seventh by getting Quincy Ascencion to fly out on four pitches, however CJ Smith followed with a single and it looked like Devaney would not get through the full seven innings.

"That was going to be the last batter he would face" said Tijerina referring to Arturo Rivas who followed Ascencion. Arturo hit a first pitch fastball to short stop Kevin Rios who started the 6-4-3 double play, and got Devaney through the full seven innings.

"That was a big outing from Devaney, and it gave him some confidence" Tijerina said.

What made Devaney so effective was he just baffled the Aberdeen hitters all day by changing his pitches. Devaney features a fastball in the 88-90 range, however throws a very slow curveball in the 66-69 range which makes it very hard for hitters in this league to adjust. Devaney also throws a slider and a changeup in which he uses to keep the hitters off balance. The key for Devaney tonight was he threw his curveball for strikes, especially early in the count when the hitter was looking for fastball. The when the hitters sat on a curveball, they were just frozen with his fastball.

"I just tried to keep them off balance tonight" said Devaney. "My curveball is a pretty slow pitch, so it is hard for them to adjust to that. It was key for me to throw a lot of curveballs for a first pitch strike, and that was the reason for my success."

"He has that slow curveball and the hitters just can't pull the trigger on it. He is going to have to tighten it a little as he moves along but that is just a work in progress" said Berrios.

Tyler Davidson had a pair of RBI singles to drive in Ambiorix Concepcion who raised his average to .314 with three doubles on the day. In his last 10 games Concepcion is hitting .363 (16-44).

Newcomer Caleb Stewart, who rejoined the team from Capital City (A), had two doubles of his own and an RBI.

"Caleb is someone that is a nice addition for the stretch run, and he will basically be in the lineup everyday, whether as the designated hitter or playing a corner outfield position" Tijerina said.

"I am happy to be here and just want to help the team out" Stewart said.

Another newcomer Chuck Smith made his Cyclones debut out of the pen throwing 1 1-3 scoreless innings. Celso Rondon made his second appearance in as many days to get the final two outs with the tying run at first base, to pick up his ninth save of the season.

The New Jersey Cardinals (30-25) swept a double header from the Staten Island Yankees to move into second place, 1.5 games behind the Cyclones (31-23). Hudson Valley who dropped a 3-2 decision to Williamsport is now in third place with a 29-25 record, 2 games behind the Cyclones.

The Cyclones and IronBirds meet for the final time of the season Monday night at KeySpan Park. Mike Swindell (2-1 4.00) will be on the mound for the Cyclones. Swindell faced Aberdeen on July 25, however lasted just 4.1 innings giving up 9 hits and 4 runs. Left hander Carlos Perez will be pitching for Aberdeen. Perez has made 2 starts against this Cyclones team and is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 9.1 innings.

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