From the desk of: THE CONEY ISLAND NINE
BROOKLYN CYCLONES: The Coney Island Nine have taken the first two games of their great western road trip so far, with a pair of wins against the Batavia Muckdogs.
On Wednesday night, the Muckdogs scored once in the first and again in the fifth, while Batavia's starter, Ben Freeman, cruised through his first five frames. Staked to a two run lead, he allowed Brooklyn three scattered hits and no runs.
Gabriel Ynoa started for the Brooks. He allowed both Batavia's runs. Overall he pitched six full innings, surrendering eight hits, striking out five, while walking none. He left on the winning side of this game however, because the Cyclones rallied for three runs in the top of the sixth.
Ben Freeman's outing fell apart rather quickly. He allowed a lead-off single to Jayce Boyd. Kevin Plawecki lined out hard to right for out one. After a Ben Freeman wild pitch put Boyd on second, Alexander Sanchez tied the game with his first home run of the season. Stefan Sabol then followed with a second consecutive home run; his second; to knock Freeman out of the box on the losing side.
That was the extent of the game's scoring. After Gabriel Ynoa put Batavia down with a pair of strikeouts in the home sixth inning, he took to the showers as reliever Paul Sewald took over on the mound. Sewald pitched the final three innings against the Muckdogs. In picking up his second save of the season, he turned in a stellar performance, allowing but one hit and striking out two. Starter Gabriel Ynoa improved his record to 2-1 on the season.
Coach Donnelly juggled the line-up and gave Brandon Nimmo a shot at the lead-off spot. Although he is currently only hitting .228 this season, the center fielder's .369 OBP warranted a try. He went 1 for 4 in the game, with a double, and a walk. Stefan Sabol was 2 for 3 in the game with a home run and a double.
On Thursday and for the second consecutive game, Batavia jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning. And the score stayed that way through the first seven innings of the game. Batavia's Tyler Melling pitched the first four innings against Brooklyn. Then Lee Stoppelman made an early appearance out of the bullpen, and kept the Cyclones in check for another two innings.
Luis Mateo started the game for Brooklyn, and put forth a very good effort, but was ultimately credited with a no-decision. In 6.2 innings of work, he allowed the Muckdogs six hits, and limited them to the one run Batavia scored in the first. Otherwise, he walked no batters and struck out seven before handing the game over to the bullpen.
Batavia's one run lead turned into a four run deficit in the top of the eighth inning. Brooklyn broke out for five runs against the Muckdogs' third and fourth pitchers of the night; Brandon Creath and Joseph Scanio. Three consecutive singles by Phillips Evans, Jayce Boyd, and Kevin Plawecki set up a bases loaded/no outs situation for Alexander Sanchez, who lofted a sac-fly to right, delivering Evans from third with the tying run. Stefan Sabol then followed with his twelfth double of the season which scored Boyd to make it a 2-1 game. That's when Batavia summoned Scanio to replace Creath on the mound. No matter though. Brooklyn's Jeff Reynolds introduced himself with a RBI single, and Eudy Pina's sac-fly scoring Sabol made the score 4-1 Cyclones. Brandon Nimmo's RBI single then gave Brooklyn their fifth run of the inning.
Brooklyn reliever Logan Taylor was the beneficiary of those runs. He previously closed out the seventh with one/third inning of work in relief of Luis Mateo. He allowed one hit. The bottom of the eighth was Matthew Koch's job though. In fact, he pitched the ninth inning as well. Overall, he allowed one hit and struck out one batter. Logan Taylor was credited with the win however.
The Cyclones picked up two more insurance runs in the ninth. A throwing error by pitcher Joseph Scanio allowed Jayce Boyd and Kevin Plawecki to score making it a 7-1 game, and eventual final.
Brandon Nimmo batted lead-off for the second consecutive game. He was 1 for 5 with an RBI. That makes him 2 for 9 batting from the top slot this series. Stefan Sabol continued his hot hitting by going 2 for 5 in the game with two doubles and an RBI. Jayce Boyd was 3 for 5, with two runs scored.
Prior to heading into Western New York, the Cyclones dropped a pair of games to the Aberdeen Iron Bird. That allowed the Hudson Valley Renegades to take over the McNamara Division lead. These last two Cyclones' wins have helped Brooklyn stay with 1 1/2 games of the Renegades. Hudson Valley is in the middle of a seven game winning streak. The Cyclones are now 23-15 on the season. The Hudson Valley Renegades sport a slightly better 24-13 record.
Brooklyn will wrap up this series with the Batavia Muckdogs on Friday before continuing their westward journey towards Ohio, where they will take on the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Hudson Valley will be playing a double header versus the Tri Citi Valley Cats. Another win against the Muckdogs will be key for the second place Cyclones in order to keep pace.