BROOKLYN, NY – July 21, 2016 – Cyclones starter Harol Gonzalez was flawless over his 7.2 shutout innings on the mound, allowing just five hits while striking out nine, but the Cyclones needed some late inning luck to hold on for the win on Irish Night, as Michael Paez threw out the would-be tying run at the plate for the last out of the game and Brooklyn held on for a 3-2 win over Aberdeen.
The Cyclones and IronBirds both struggled to find offense early, as the teams traded zeroes through the first four innings. Aberdeen starter Lucas Humpal was perfect through 3.0 innings before handing the ball off to Cody Dube. The IronBirds reliever allowed the first Cyclones base runner of the night in the bottom of the fourth, a walk of Paez, but the Brooklyn bats would awake from their slumber in the fifth.
Pete Alonso started the rally with a single and moved to third on a perfectly executed hit-and-run single from Ali Sanchez that put runners on the corners with nobody out. Blake Tiberi took advantage of the scoring chance with an RBI single that gave Brooklyn the 1-0 advantage. The Cyclones would tack on insurance runs in the sixth when Michael Paez got things started with a solo blast over the left field wall, his first professional home run, which pushed the Brooklyn lead to 2-0. Later in the frame, Tiberi added a sac fly that made it 3-0 after six.
That seemed like more than enough offense as Harol Gonzalez dominated the ‘Birds, never allowing a runner to advance past first base over his 7.2 innings on the mound. But after Joe Zanghi got the final out of the eighth inning with ease, the righthander ran into trouble in the ninth. Aberdeen mounted a two-out rally with Jaylen Ferguson’s RBI double plating a run in the ninth and put a pair in scoring position, still with two outs. Austin McGeorge was then summoned from the Brooklyn bullpen and quickly walked Chris Clare to load the bases for pinch hitter Seamus Curran. He responded by hitting a ground ball to second base that seemed like it would be the final out of the game, and it would be…just not in the way you would expect. Paez booted the ball for an error, allowing the second run of the game to score, but Ferguson tried to take an extra base and was thrown out at the plate for the final out of the game.
The Cyclones will look to win their fifth straight over the division-rival IronBirds when the teams square off on Friday night in the middle game of a three-game set. Don’t forget to stay after the game and enjoy a post-game fireworks spectacular. Tickets start at just $10 and can be purchased at the MCU Park Box Office, by calling 718-507-TIXX or at BrooklynCyclones.com