PLAYER OF THE WEEK: OCTAVIO ACOSTA
It has been a bit over a month since Octavio Acosta started the season for the Brooklyn Cyclones, when they hosted the Staten Island Yankees and went on to win 8-0 to kick off the 2014 campaign.
Despite not picking up the win that night, Acosta had a solid performance, throwing 4.2 innings, scattering two hits for one run and striking out seven.
On Saturday night, the Cyclones began their first series of the year against the Williamsport Crosscutters. Acosta took the mound for a Brooklyn team that was in the midst of an eight-game losing streak.
During his previous outing on the road against the Connecticut Tigers, Acosta was great, pitching 6.0 innings of one-run baseball. A lack of offensive support would land Acosta a no decision in the game; nevertheless, he had great momentum going into his next start. Fortunately for Acosta, he was given plenty of run support by the Brooklyn offense as they would go on to snap their eight-game streak against Williamsport, winning 8-4.
“We all had the mentality that we just wanted to win, and during our losing streak we were disconnected, but last night the other guys and I went out there and just tried to win and luckily we did,” said Acosta.
While Acosta had six solid innings of work during his last outing, his start against Williamsport was brilliant. With the team coming off of a 15-inning game the night before, Acosta took it upon himself to nearly go the distance for his team, tossing 8.0 innings on one-run ball. The lone run surrendered by Acosta was unearned; he only gave up four hits, while punching out seven batters.
“My goal on the mound is to just set down the batters I face and stay consistent, when we’re losing, especially with the streak, once we got the lead, I just wanted to remain consistent and felt that my responsibility was to pitch seven or eight innings since we played 15 innings the night before,” said Acosta.
Acosta felt his maturity and baseball intelligence helped him set down 23 of the 27 batters he faced.
“I feel like I’m an intelligent person and am a mature baseball player so I was seeing how guys were reacting to pitches and used my maturity to mix up my pitches and get outs.”
Acosta also attributed his ability to focus and work efficiently to the fact that he was playing at the always-friendly MCU Park.
“Pitching at home is something I appreciate a lot more than pitching on the road,” said Acosta. “On the road the environment is a bit more hostile, but pitching at home I was able to concentrate 100 percent, which helped me do so well yesterday.”
The Cyclones are almost halfway through their season, but Acosta is confident he will continue to perform consistently and lead his team the rest of the way.