Luis Mateo, who was originally slated to start the game for the Cyclones was held back so he would be able to pitch Game Two of the NYPL Semi-Finals, and was replaced by Matt Koch on the mound. The third round pick from the University of Louisville made the unscheduled start and was charged with two runs over his 2.2 inning with both runs coming in the top of the third.
After retiring the first batter of the inning, Koch allowed a single to Mike Miller and then hit Mookie Betts to put two runners aboard. Next up was Deven Marrero, the Red Sox first round selection in the 2012 draft, but before he had a chance the swing the bat, Miller and Betts pulled off a double steal to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Koch then uncorked a wild pitch, which allowed Miller to score, and then Marrero chased home Betts with a sacrifice fly to right field to give Lowell a 2-0 lead.
After a scoreless fourth inning, Lowell added another run in the top of the fifth. Kevin Heller, a native of Brooklyn, NY who attended Poly Prep in Dyker Heights, connected on his first professional home run – a solo shot – to make it 3-0 heading to the bottom of the fifth.
But in the bottom of that fifth the Cyclones would finally break through. Jayce Boyd led off the frame with a double, Brooklyn’s first extra-base hit in 32 innings, and then came around to score when Jorge Rivero followed him up with another two-bagger to make it 3-1. After Stefan Sabol lined out for the first out of the inning, Jeff Glenn and Richie Rodriguez worked back-to-back walks to load the bases for Eudy Pina. Pina took advantage of the opportunity, connecting on the third double of the inning and scoring a pair of runs to bring the Cyclones even at 3-3 after five.
After two scoreless frames, the Spinners took the lead for good in the eighth inning. Paul Sewald (0-2) came on for his first inning of work and was immediately met with trouble. Once again it was Mike Miller at the heart of the rally, leading off the frame with a lead off single. After a strikeout, a fielding error by Richie Rodriguez put runners on the corners with one out. Jake Davies turned around the first pitch he saw with a line drive single up the middle to score Miller and put the Spinners in front 4-3. Lowell added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Brooklyn boy, Kevin Heller connected on his second home run of the game to push the lead to 5-3.
With the regular season out of the way, the Cyclones will now head to the post-season for the fourth straight year. Game One of the best-of-three series will be at MCU Park on Friday, September 7th at 7:00 PM. RHP Hansel Robles who led the NYPL and established a franchise record with a 1.11 ERA during the 2012 campaign will get the start. The righthander did not allow an earned run over 33.0 innings during the month of August and went 4-0 in five starts. All tickets for the playoff action at MCU Park will be just $10 and are on sale now by calling 718-507-TIXX, visiting the MCU Park box office or by CLICKING HERE.
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