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(photo courtesy of George Napolitano)

Staten Island, NY – June 17, 2011  The Brooklyn Cyclones kicked off the 2011 season in style with a 5-3 victory over the Yankees at Richmond County Bank Ballpark on Staten Island.  With the victory the Cyclones improved to 9-2 all-time on Opening Day, including 7-1 against their rivals from across the Verrazano.    

The offense came to life early for Brooklyn, who put up a three spot in the second inning to take the lead.  Luke Stewart started the frame with a single, which was followed by a pair of walks to load the bases with nobody out.   Catcher Amauris Valdez took advantage of the early opportunity and plated the first run of the season for the Cyclones with an RBI single to put the Cyclones on the board.  After a wild pitch plated the second run of the game, shortstop Danny Muno, the Mets 8th round selection in the recent MLB draft, drove in the first run of his professional career with an RBI single to push the lead to 3-0.

The Baby Bombers clawed back with a pair of runs off Cyclones starter Eduardo Aldama in the third inning and later drew even with an unearned run off reliever Orlando Tovar (1-0) in the fifth to knot the score at 3-3.

Brooklyn quickly responded in the sixth, scoring a single run and taking the lead for good.  Travis Taijeron, who finished the game 2-2 with a pair of walks and runs scored in his professional debut, started the sixth inning with a triple and scored one batter later on Dylan Brown’s RBI single.   The run scoring single gave Brooklyn a 4-3 advantage heading into the bottom of the frame. 

Staten Island rallied in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with two outs, before Brooklyn turned to TJ Chism out of the bullpen.  The southpaw struck out Yankees outfielder Mason Williams, who was 2-2 with a double and home run to that point, to end the inning and keep the Cyclones in front.

In the ninth inning Ish Tijerina, who entered the game as a defensive replacement, added an insurance run with an RBI single to make the final score 5-3.

Chism, Hunter Carnevale and Jeremy Gould combined to toss scoreless innings of relief to close out the victory, allowing only one hit and one walk while striking out five.  Gould pitched a scoreless ninth to collect the save.

The Cyclones open up the home portion of their schedule Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. against these same Staten Island Yankees.  Fans are encouraged to take public transportation to the ballpark due to the Mermaid Parade on Surf Avenue tomorrow afternoon.  LHP Carlos Vazquez will make the start for Brooklyn.  Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 718-507-TIXX, at the MCU Park box office or by clicking here.

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