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August 7th – Staten Island, NY -- The Brooklyn Cyclones (27-23) defeated the Staten Island Yankees (34-15) by a score of 10-2 on Sunday night at Richmond County Ballpark. After trailing for three innings, the Brooklyn bats awoke in the fourth inning with a five-run rally. The Cyclones tacked on five more runs over the course of the game on 14 total hits. Everyone got in on the fun as every Cyclone batter who entered the game reached base at least once. In his Cyclones debut, starting pitcher Brett Mitchell tossed 4.2 innings and yielded just one run, but did not factor into the decision. Lefthander Orlando Tovar (4-1, 4.10) picked up the win in relief after allowing just one base runner in 2.1 scoreless innings.
Brooklyn had to play catch-up, however, as Staten Island got on the board first. After reaching base four times and scoring two runs last night – including the first run of the game – Mason Williams jumpstarted the Yankees offense again, leading off the bottom of the first with a single. The NYPL’s batting average leader quickly advanced to third base on a wild pitch and a passed ball and then came around to score on a ground out by 2010 first rounder, Cito Culver. Mitchell, however, promptly induced a strikeout and a fly out to end the frame.
Williams was a catalyst once again in the third inning, drawing a walk to lead-off the frame. However, he was removed from the base paths after he tested the arm of center fielder Chase Greene. Williams looked to go from first to third on Benjamin Gamel’s single to center, but Greene fielded the ball and fired to third base in-time to record the out. However, Gamel put himself in scoring position immediately afterwards with a theft of second base. He was then plated on a Cody Grice single, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
Blanked for three innings, the Cyclones got on the board in the fourth inning, and did so with a five-run rally. Xorge Carrillo and Greene ignited the rally with a walk and single to give the Cyclones runners on the corners with one out. NYPL on-base percentage leader, Danny Muno then doubled to clear the bases and tie the game at 2-2. Ismael Tijerina kept the chain moving with a single to move Muno over to third. Homer-less for 28 games, Javier Rodriguez then put the Cyclones up, 5-2, with a three-run shot to left field.
Brooklyn added two more runs in the fifth inning. With one out and the bases empty, Carrillo singled and Greene followed suit with a double to put two runners in scoring position. Two batters later, the Cyclones were up 7-2. A ground ball to the shortstop scored Carrillo and moved Greene over to third. Tijerina then doubled to plate Greene.
With a five-run lead to protect, Tovar shut down the Baby Bombers in the sixth and seventh innings.
The ‘Clones padded their lead with a two-run eighth inning. With one out and two runners in scoring position, Brian Harrison drove in the team’s eighth run on a sac-fly. NYPL slugging percentage leader, Travis Taijeron, followed up with a RBI-single to give Brooklyn a 9-2 lead.
Righthander Tyler Pill was brought on to pitch the bottom of the eighth. In his second appearance with the Cyclones, the “Tyler-nol Pill” worked a scoreless inning, striking out two.
For the third time, Carrillo and Greene jumpstarted another rally, leading off the top of the ninth inning with back-to-back walks. After the Yankees issued a third consecutive free-pass to load the bases, Carrillo was driven in on a sac-fly by J-Rod.
Leading by eight runs in the bottom of the ninth, righty Todd Weldon was brought on to shut the door on Staten Island. He tossed a scoreless ninth to give the Cyclones a 10-2 victory and lower his ERA to 0.98. The Cyclones are now 7.5 games behind the first-place Yankees.
The Cyclones return to MCU Park to play the Baby Bombers in the series finale tomorrow, Monday, August 8 at 7 p.m. RHP Marco Camarena (1-3, 3.86) will take on RHP Wilton Rodriguez (1-3, 3.46). It will be Italian Heritage Night and the first 3,000 fans in attendance will be receiving a Brooklyn Pride T-Shirt courtesy of Lutheran Medical Center. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 718-507-TIXX, visiting the MCU Park box office, or logging onto BrooklynCyclones.com.
-- Ryan Gilbert