Bruin Brant Rustich breaks in

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The Cyclones have added right-hander and UCLA alum Brant Rustich to their formidable stable of pictures.

Selected in the second round of this year’s draft, Rustich, the El Cajon, California product, went 3–2, 6.67 ERA at UCLA before signing with the Mets and starting his professional career at Kingsport.

The 6-foot-6 former Bruin pitched in five games in the Appalachian League, starting two contests and going 1–0 with a 1.87 ERA. He threw 10.1 innings and struck out ten, allowing one walk.

“Obviously, pitching in Brooklyn is different than at Kingsport [where crowds are much smaller ],” said Rustich.

“There are 8,000 here almost every night. At UCLA a crowd of 1,500 would be really big for us.”

But Rustich isn’t a stranger to a packed house.

“At Orleans [in the amateur Cape Cod League] we once played in front of 12,000,” he said.

“I really like the crowds. I thrive under pressure, and I like the excitement.”

Rustich seemed to enjoy the excitement of his maiden Brooklyn appearance as he pitched the eighth inning Sunday and allowed a single, striking out two.

Manager Edgar Alfonzo liked Rustich’s work.

“Big guy, throws hard,” Alfonzo said in his succinct post-game appraisal.

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