From the desk of: THE CONEY ISLAND NINE
BROOKLYN CYCLONES: Take Rubber Game From Monsters. Remain Three Games Back Of First Place; Wild Card Lead is Five Games.
Monday Night Baseball in Vermont - Contain yourselves. In the rubber game between the Brooklyn Cyclones and the Lake Champlain Sea Monsters, Coney Island starter Julian Hilario continued a string of scoreless innings pitched, that effectively started Saturday night in the eighth inning of a 4-1 loss. But in game two of this series played Sunday, Hansel Robles started on the hill, and four Cyclones relievers combined to shutout the Vermont Lake Monsters,, and limit them to three hits all game.
In Monday night's game, Julian Hilario kept the Monsters hitless through the first two innings, and scoreless through the first three innings.
Back in the second inning, Brooklyn staked Hilario to a 4-0 lead. Juan Carlos Gamboa reached on a two base E-6 to open the doors. Nelfi Zapata singled, sending Gamboa to third. Batting ninth in the order, Eudy Pina then stepped in with one out, and crushed his fifth home run of the season. Brandon Nimmo followed with a single, and was driven home with a two out RBI single by Phillip Evans. And with that, Vermont's starter, Nolan Sanburn, was directed towards the showers.
In the fourth inning, Vermont managed their second hit off Julian Hilario. And in the fifth, well..., Vermont's Tyler Vail, struck out the side....that's what happened. But in the bottom of the fifth, the Monsters put together two hits, and had a runner from third base cut down at the plate on a play scored 5-3-2 to end the inning. That play brought Julian Hilario's shutout effort to five innings, and Brooklyn's streak of scoreless innings pitched against Vermont this series, to fourteen.
After Brandon Nimmo drew a one-out walk in the sixth, Phillip Evans drove him home yet again with his third single of the game, giving Brooklyn a 5-0 lead. Except for an inconsequential single, Julian Hilario retired Vermont quietly again in the bottom of the sixth inning.
In the seventh inning, the scoreless innings streak ended at 15.2 innings. But that came against reliever Logan Taylor; not Julian Hilario. Coach Donnelly decided the Cyclones' starter's night was through. He pitched six full innings, allowing five scattered hits. He walked three, and struck out four batters before giving way to the bullpen.
In the bottom of the seventh, Vermont scored after Phillip Evans committed a one-out error at shortstop. Then a two out triple delivered that runner home. Taylor Logan completed his second inning of work. In all, he allowed two hits and an unearned run. He walked one, and struck out four.
Against Vermont's fourth pitcher of the evening, Ryan Dull, the Coney Island Nine picked up an insurance run in the ninth. Stefan Sabol connected on his fifth home run of the season, to give the Brooks a 6-1 lead.
In the Monster's last licks, they faced Brooklyn's Tyler Vanderheiden. For a brief moment, things went awry. Another E-6 by Phillip Evans was followed by consecutive wild pitches by Vanderheiden. A single then drove home Vermont's second run of the game, but nothing more. The Cyclones win the third game of the series by a 6-2 score, and take two of three from the Lake Monsters.
The Batavia Muckdogs and Hudson Valley Renegades were also winners tonight. So we end the night as things were, when we started. The Brooklyn Cyclones (37-23) trail the first place Hudson Valley Renegades (40-20) in the McNamara Division by three games. In the Wild Card race, the Cyclones hold a five game lead over the Batavia Muckdogs. Sixteen games remain in the Cyclones' regular season.
Next stop - Coney Island, where the Cyclones will host the top team in the circuit; the Stedler Division leading Tri City Valley Cats.