(Photo Courtesy of George Napolitano)
-- Ryan Gilbert
August 2nd – Brooklyn, NY -- The Brooklyn Cyclones (24-21) were defeated by the Williamsport Crosscutters (25-20) by a score of 7-2 in the first of a three-game set on Tuesday night. Brooklyn continued their struggles with runners in scoring position, going 1-for-10 tonight. The team is now batting .152 (9-59) with runners in scoring position over its past eight games. The Cyclones also struggled in the field, committing four errors.
Although he left the ballgame down just 1-0, Randy Fontanez (0-1, 2.21) was tagged with the loss after his pitch count allowed him to work only 3.0 innings. Perci Garner (1-0, 0.00) picked up the win in relief for Williamsport.
The Crosscutters crossed the plate before the Cyclones, scoring a run on an attempted pickoff in the top of the first. With runners on the corners and no outs, Fontanez faked to third, then to first, and then back to third. Baited by the move, the runner on first broke for second. However, Fontanez’s throw to second base was on a hop and ended up in center field, allowing the runner on third to score.
Later in the inning, the Crosscutters attempted to add to their 1-0 lead on a sac fly, but were gunned down trying on a play at the plate. After catcher Amauris Valdez fielded a one-hopper from left fielder Javier Rodriguez, he smothered the ball and braced for contact. The collision knocked him onto his back, but he held onto the ball to record the out.
In the bottom of the frame, Cole Frenzel looked to tie the game on Rodriguez’s double in the left field gap, but was tagged out at home on a play at the plate. Trying to score all the way from first, Frenzel attempted to barrel into Williamsport catcher Bob Stumpo, who was fielding the cut-off throw from the shortstop. However, Stumpo ducked, sending the airborne Frenzel several feet towards the first base dugout. In a frenzy to score, Frenzel collided with both the pitcher (who was backing up home) and the catcher. In response, both benches cleared, but order was quickly restored. Morgado then promptly induced a fly out to end the inning.
The Crosscutters extended their lead to three runs in top of the fourth. With one out and the bases loaded, Kenny Miramontes singled up the middle to drive in two runs. A fielding error by shortstop Danny Muno allowed Williamsport to load the bases again, but Muno rebounded in the following at bat by starting an inning-ending 6-4-3 groundball double play.
In the top of the fifth, Aaron Altherr hit his third home run of the season – a two-run shot to left field – giving Williamsport a 5-0 lead.
Kelly Dugan led off the bottom of the sixth with a triple for Williamsport, but was erased on an ensuing play at the plate. Third baseman Richard Lucas fielded a high-chopping groundball and fired home to Valdez, who tagged the sliding Dugan out. However, the Crosscutters still managed to plate two runs in the inning on a double in the right field gap by Cody Asche.
Making his Cyclones debut, righthander Tyler Pill worked a 1-2-3 scoreless inning of relief in the top of the eighth.
Trailing 7-0 in the bottom of the frame, Brooklyn got on the board after Rodriguez tripled to lead off the inning and Lucas singled to drive him in. Brian Harrison promptly singled to put runners on first and second with no outs, but the Crosscutters induced a groundball double play from the ensuing batter. Lucas, however, was able to advance to third on the play. The 2007 fourth-round pick was then plated on a throwing error by the shortstop, cutting the Crosscutters’ lead to five runs.
However, the Cyclones were retired 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth to lose, 7-2.
The Cyclones return to action tomorrow, Wednesday, August 3, at 12:00 p.m. RHP Marco Camarena (1-3, 4.14) will take the hill for Brooklyn and will oppose LHP Adam Morgan (1-2, 2.05). MCU Park will be invaded by Summer Camps from all throughout the city. At the conclusion of the game, everyone will be invited to run the bases. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 718-507-TIXX, visiting the MCU Park box office, or logging onto BrooklynCyclones.com.