September 1st – Staten Island, NY – The Cyclones held on for a pivotal win on Saturday night, defeating the Staten Island Yankees 3-2 at Richmond County Bank Ballpark. John Mincone recorded the final two outs of the game with the tying run just 90 feet away to collect his sixth save of the season.
A week ago, Julian Hilario (4-4) lasted only 0.1 inning and was tagged with seven runs in his start at Staten Island. What a difference a week made for the righthander, as Hilario tossed 6.1 innings of shutout baseball allowing just four hits and a walk while striking out seven.
After two scoreless frames to start the game, the Cyclones drew first blood in the top of the third when Brandon Nimmo connected on a solo shot, his sixth of the season, to take an early 1-0 lead.
The two cross-bridge rivals matched zeroes over the next two innings, but in the top of the sixth the Cyclones lead would expand. Jayce Boyd, Kevin Plawecki and Jeff Glenn each singled to load the bases before a wild pitch from Staten Island reliever Alex Smith uncorked a wild pitch allowing Brooklyn to push their lead to 2-0.
The Cyclones got right back to work in the seventh inning after Maikis De La Cruz doubled to start the frame and later came around to score on a one-out single off the bat of Phillip Evans to make it 3-0 in favor of the Cyclones.
The Evans RBI would prove to be critical as, after sputtering through the first eight innings of the game, the Yankee bats came to life in the bottom of the ninth. With Matt Koch on the mound the Baby Bombers started the bottom of the ninth with back-to-back doubles from Greg Bird and Matt Duran to put a pair of runners in scoring position with nobody out. Koch was able to record the first out of the frame with a strikeout before giving way to Tyler Vanderheiden. The Cyclones closer struggled, allowing a two-RBI single to Daniel Lopez and then another single to Danny Oh, which put runners on the corners with one away. That led to another call to the bullpen and set the stage for John Mincone’s heroics. The southpaw from Long Island struck out Taylor Dugas and got Claudio Custodio to pop out to end the game with the tying run stranded at third base.
The win keeps the Cyclones in the lead in the race for the a Wild Card berth, 1.0 game in front of the Batavia Muckdogs with four games remaining in the 2012 season. The Cyclones will go for the series sweep against the Staten Island Yankees on Sunday afternoon at MCU Park. RHP Rainy Lara (8-2) will look to collect his league leading ninth win of the season when he takes the mound for Brooklyn. Sunday is Funday on Coney Island with the first 3,000 fans receiving a souvenir baseball bat, plus all fans are invited to have a catch on the field prior to the game. Tickets start at just $9 and are on sale now by calling 718-507-TIXX, visiting the MCU Park box office or at BrooklynCyclones.com
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