Sunday, July 22, 2012

BKN Cyclones ~ Brooks Take Staten Island in Twelve; Keep Hold on First

From the desk of:   THE CONEY ISLAND NINE

Battle of the Boroughs - II

Brooklyn and Staten Island Tie Series 2-2
BK 1; S.I. 0
S.I. 4; BK 2
S.I. 3; BK 1
BK 2; S.I. 1

BROOKLYN CYCLONES:  The Surf Avenue Sluggers Keep a Hold On First Place; Gain Series Split Versus Yankees.

They went into the ninth inning tied at one apiece.  The visiting Staten Island Yankees' starter, Corey Black, tossed six innings, surrendering only a run to Brooklyn on six hits, and only one walk.  He struck out six before giving way to the bullpen.  Then Yankees' Josh Romanski tossed a scoreless seventh inning, and Dietrich Enns pitched the eighth without harm.

For the Cyclones, Hansel Robles was making his sixth start of the season, and looking for his third win.  But after pitching eight superb innings, he left to a no decision.  He allowed Staten Island six hits, one walk, and limited them to one run, while striking out a season high nine batters.

The Surf Avenue Sluggers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth.  After Dimas Ponce led off with a double and was thrown out at third trying to stretch it into a triple, Phillip Evans followed with another double.  Alexander Sanchez then hit the third double of the inning off Corey Black to drive home Evans.  The Bombers finally tied the game in the seventh off Robles.  Jose Rosario doubled home Matt Snyder with the tying run.

John Mincone took over for Hansel Robles and pitched a scoreless ninth inning.  Mariel Checo; Staten Island's fourth pitcher; was called upon to pitch the home ninth against the Brooks.  He kept them scoreless, striking out two, to send the game into extra-innings for the second time this series.

Mincone retired the Yanks in order in the tenth.  But in the bottom half of the inning, Mariel Checo pitched himself into, then out of trouble.  Eudy Pina led off the home tenth with a single.  A sacrifice bunt and an E-3 moved him to third base.  Checo then intentionally walked the bases loaded.  Kevin Plawecki followed with a fly-out to center but with no advancement of the runners.  Alexander Sanchez then ended the threat with a grounder to second.

In his third inning of work, John Mincone faced the minimum in the eleventh.  Charles Basford relieved Mariel Checo for the Bombers, who set the Cyclones down quietly.  Then Brooklyn's Tyler Vanderheiden was brought into the game to pitch the twelfth inning of play.  He escaped a first and third situation with two outs, and struck out Exicardo Cayones swinging to stop the Yanks cold.

In the bottom of the twelfth with Charles Basford pitching, Brooklyn's Dimas Ponce singled with one out.  Kevin Plawecki hit a two out single that moved Ponce to third base.  Then Alexander Sanchez finally drove home the game winning run with an RBI single to center field.

After some superb relief work out of John Mincone, and a stellar eight inning starting performance from Hansel Robles, Tyler Vanderheiden earned his first win in relief this season, off one inning of work and walking two batters.  Hey, it's like that sometimes.  Staten Island's Charles Bradford gets credited with the loss.  Bradford is now 0-2 this season.

The Brooklyn Cyclones earned a split in the second installment of the Battle of the Boroughs.  Games One and Four were both won by the Cyclones in extra innings.  Thursday night's Game One was a fifteen inning affair.  Overall, the Cyclones lead the season series against Staten Island five games to three.

Brooklyn needed this win to keep pace with the Hudson Valley Renegades, who won their game 8-2 over the Aberdeen Iron Birds.  The two teams are now tied for the McNamara Division lead with identical 21-13 records.  Staten Island is next, trailing Brooklyn and Hudson Valley by seven games, and now sport a 14-20 season record.

The Cyclones' win also gets them one game (9-8) over the .500 mark at home.  The Cyclones will host Aberdeen for two games before hitting the road for a pair of series against Batavia and Mahoning Valley.  The Cyclones have played very well on the road and will look to improve their 12-5 mark away from Coney Island.  But first, they'll look to gain some separation from the Renegades by taking on the McNamara Division's last place club in the Iron Birds.


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