Brooklyn, NY – July 15, 2017 – On Friday night, the Brooklyn Cyclones displayed a valiant effort and would’ve tied the State College Spikes if not for a ninth inning insurance run by the reigning New York-Penn League champions. A day later, the Spikes (15-10) steamrolled the Cyclones (6-19), 12-1. State College's offense was spearheaded by a sixth inning in which they scored seven runs off of Trent Johnson.
“You don’t hit,” Cyclones manager Edgardo Alfonzo said. “The pitching…they don’t do a good job. It’s tough to win. It’s part of what we’ve gone through. There’s nothing else you can do.”
After a quick groundout to start the game, Michael Gibbons got in some trouble. He issued a walk to Scott Hurst and gave up a single on a hit-and-run to put runners on the corners for Josh Lopez, one of the best hitters in the New York Penn League. Lopez hit a few hard foul balls before popping out to second.
“(Gibbons) was looking more like a pitcher,” Alfonzo said. “I think it’s going to be good for him to go to that next level with confidence. He did a pretty good job.”
A 45-foot pitch bounced to the plate and gets by Jose Maria and the Spikes took an early 1-0 lead. The next batter sent a looping single into center field which scored the second run.
Brooklyn had chances in the first two innings. In the first, a walk and single gave the Cyclones two runners on and a chance to cut into the deficit. Two quick outs and the threat was averted. The Cyclones recorded two straight hits in the second but Edgardo Fermin — making his debut — was thrown out attempting to stretch a single into a double.
State College’s two-run first were the only runs that Gibbons allowed in five strong innings of work. Johnson entered the game and the Spikes offense took advantage in a big way. Johnson’s 5.75 ERA ballooned as he allowed seven runs.
The first eight runners reached base — single, hit-by-pitch, RBI double, Winaker error, two-RBI single, RBI single, RBI double, walk — and the reigning champs extended their lead to eight. Johnson, finally, recorded two ground outs but another run scored. By the time the beating was over, 11 Spikes stepped up to the plate — seven of which scored — and the Spikes led 9-0.
Johnson returned to the mound in the seventh and recorded two outs. Yet, a booming triple and a wild pitch gave the Spikes their tenth run of the game. After a walk, Alfonzo removed Johnson from the game and summoned Kurtis Horne from the bullpen. The Spikes would add two more runs and BKLYN would scratch one across in the ninth as Scott Manea recorded an RBI single. The final out of the game came by way of a Walter Rasquin groundout. He went 0-5 on the day, ending a 14 game hitting streak.
“(Rasquin) is the guy,” Alfonzo said. “When he’s going, we are going. He’s the best hitter that we have right now.”
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