The right hander had a no hitter through 5 1-3 innings and was the first Cyclone starter to go a full eight innings. Last Sunday against Aberdeen Michael Devaney went seven innings allowing just four hits and no earned runs. On Thursday starter Evan MacLane went seven innings allowing just six hits and just two runs. Mike Swindell out-dueled them both, in a friendly way. Swindell needed just 91 pitches to complete eight full innings allowing just one hit, no runs, one walk and striking out six.
"I saw a change in Swindell two starts ago against Staten Island" said Tijerina. "I saw a guy confident in his breaking ball, and confident enough to throw it on any count. That gives a team real trouble and keeps them off balance."
"Young hitters at this level are not acclimated to hitting such a good breaking ball, after seeing a fastball."
When asked what attributed to his sparkling performance Swindell was very modest saying his location was key.
"Just being able to get ahead in counts, and be effective with the fastball on the corner, which allows me to use the breaking ball to keep the hitters off balance" said Swindell.
When asked if he was aware of his no hitter Swindell just smiled saying "I knew I did."
"…I was a little upset but I knew I still had pitches to make."
Credit Swindell for staying focused to complete his outing. You see it time after time, when a pitcher who has a no hitter broken, what follows is the shutout being broken. However Swindell buckled down and maintained his focus retiring the final six batters in the seventh and eight innings.
In his last start Swindell had a sixth inning to forget when he made a wild throw to first on a bunt attempt which opened up the inning for two runs. This start Swindell was all focus, even on his fielding attempts. Swindell fielded four perfect dribblers to the pitching mound, and timely threw to first for the putout, and in his final play of the evening he quickly covered first base to record the out.
"I knew we had to win this game" said Swindell referring to the importance of this game. "However I also knew we had to play defense and hit. The whole team came together tonight and it was fun to see."
"The last couple of games I just think we beat ourselves."
That final line was the theme of Tijerina post-game tongue lashing to the team after their five error performance.
"I addressed the team after that Staten Island game pretty sternly. I flat out told them that we beat ourselves" said Tijerina.
"There was a lot of disappointment after last night, [4-3 loss to New Jersey] however this is the time you find out what teams and guys are made of. It is how they will react to that feeling the next day."
Corey Coles, Ambiorix Concepcion and Jim Burt each had two hit performances. Burt had an RBI single in the fourth and an RBI double in the eight, driving in Concepcion both times.
"Burt has been swinging the bat real well lately" said Tijerina. "He knew his opportunity would come soon, I was looking to give him some at bats, despite the Davidson injury. He is getting confidence in himself and it is showing."
Chuck Smith pitched the ninth allowing one hit but striking out three batters in the process.
The Cyclones got help from the Williamsport Crosscutter, after they swept a double header from the Hudson Valley Renegades. The Cyclones (34-26) are now 2 games ahead of New Jersey (33-29) and 2.5 games ahead of Hudson Valley (31-28).
The Cyclones and Cardinals meet for the final time in the regular season Monday night at Skylands Park. Lefty Joe Williams (5-3 2.21) will start for the Cyclones while right hander Chris Della Rocco (1-2 4.37) will take the mound for the Cardinals. Della Rocco has appeared in two games this year against the Cyclones, starting one of those games. In 7.1 innings he has allowed eight hits and three earned runs.
Second Round Pick Signed
Matt Durkin, the Mets second round pick in the 2004 draft, will come to New York this week to sign his contract. The contract is expected to be approved upon by the commissioners office late this week or early next week. Durkin is unlikely to appear in any games because of a shin injury he battled through this past season.
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