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August 8th – Brooklyn, NY – The Brooklyn Cyclones (28-23) defeated the Staten Island Yankees (34-16) by a score of 7-5 in front of 7,065 fans on Italian Heritage Night at MCU Park on Monday. With the win, the Cyclones are now 6-5 against the Yankees this season and 70-67 against them since they joined the New York-Penn League in 2001. Brooklyn has now outscored Staten Island 64-45 on the season.
Starter Randy Fontanez did not factor into the decision as he yielded three runs in 4.2 innings. Reliever Jeremy Gould (1-2, 3.38) allowed the Yankees to tie the game in the fifth inning, but allowed just that one run, picking up the win in 2.1 innings of work. Righthander Todd Weldon saw his scoreless streak snapped at 9.2 innings on a home run, but still picked up his third save of the season after striking out three in 2.0 innings of work.
Staten Island scored in the first inning for the third straight game. Mason Williams was hit by the pitch to lead off the game, but was erased on a line drive double play off the bat of Benjamin Gamel. Despite the double play, the Yankees still managed to plate a run in the inning on an RBI-single by Reymond Nunez.
Trailing 1-0 with two outs in the bottom of the second, the Cyclones rallied for four runs on six consecutive hits. The hit-train was started by Brian Harrison, who came around to tie the game two batters later. With runners on the corners and the game tied at 1-1, newcomer T.J. Rivera picked up his first hit as a Cyclone on a line drive single to left field. With the base knock, T.J. drove in a run, giving the Cyclones a 2-1 lead. With runners on first and second, Danny Muno hit a soft grounder into the hole on the left side of the infield that shortstop Cito Culver could not make a play on, thus loading the bases. The sixth and last base hit came on a grounder up the middle by Charley Thurber. Two runs came in on the single, putting the ‘Clones up 4-1.
Fontanez turned in a 1-2-3 inning in the third, but ran into trouble in the fourth. With two outs, Zachery Wilson doubled and Casey Stevenson singled to drive him in.
Staten Island rallied with two outs again in the fifth inning. After a two-out single by Culver, Fontanez was lifted in favor of Jeremy Gould, but the lefthander could not prevent the Yankees from tying the game. Gamel greeted Gould with a double, plating Culver and cutting Brooklyn’s lead to one run. Cody Grice followed up with a line drive single to score Gamel and tie the game at 4-4. That was all Staten Island would muster, however, as Gould picked Grice off of first to end the frame.
The Cyclones responded right away in the bottom of the fifth. Thurber doubled to lead off the frame and Javier Rodriguez followed up with a single to put runners on the corners. After J-Rod stole second, Brooklyn loaded the bases on a walk by Richard Lucas. A groundball double erased the possibility of a big inning, but Thurber scored on the play nonetheless. A fly out then ended the inning, but the Cyclones led 5-4 heading into the sixth.
Brooklyn tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth thanks to the hustle of T.J. Rivera. With one out and runners on the corners, Muno grounded into what seemed to be an inning-ending double play. The grounder was fielded by the first baseman, who stepped on first for an out, and then fired to second to get Rivera. However, the Bronx, NY product beat the throw, allowing a run to score.
Leading 6-4, the Cyclones extended their lead to three runs in the seventh inning. Slugging percentage leader, Travis Taijeron singled with two outs to plate Rodriguez.
With one swing, however, the lead was cut back to two runs. Zachery Wilson hit a solo shot off of Weldon to bring the score to 7-5 and end the righthander’s scoreless streak.
Weldon bounced back in the ninth to sit down the Yankees in order. The New Mexico native struck out two en route to picking up the save.
Brooklyn will begin a six-game road trip against the Batavia Muckdogs tomorrow, Tuesday, August 9 at 7:05 p.m. RHP Marco Camarena (1-3, 3.86) will oppose LHP Patrick Daugherty (3-3, 6.40). Following the NYPL All-Star game, the Cyclones will return to MCU Park on Wedneday, August 17 when they begin a three-game series against the Jamestown Jammers at 7 p.m. It will be BrooklynNite and the first 3,000 fans will receive rally towels as part of Brooklyn’s Biggest Block Party. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 718-507-TIXX, visiting the MCU Park box office, or logging onto BrooklynCyclones.com.
by Ryan Gilbert