Sunday, September 02, 2012

Brooklyn Cyclones: Yanks Invade Coney For Last Battle Between the Boroughs

From the desk of:   THE SURF AVENUE SLUGGERS

The Final Showdown
I - BK 5; S.I. 1
II - BK 3; S.I. 2
III - Sunday
Cyclones Lead Season Series 8-5
BROOKLYN CYCLONES:  No Division Title For You.
Facing a must win situation with only four games left in the regular season, the Seaside Sluggers defeated the Yankees 3-2 Saturday evening, thus maintaining their precarious one game Wild Card lead over the hard charging Batavia Muckdogs.  For Brooklyn, the Wild Card is the only race left.  Despite winning Saturday night, the Hudson Valley Renegades also won; defeating the Aberdeen Iron Birds; to finally outpace the Cyclones and clinch the 2012 McNamara Division pennant.

On a slightly different front, Brooklyn also gained victory Saturday night in the Battle of the Borough's last engagement on Richmond County soil.  The season's final contest between the Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees will be played today, Sunday afternoon, in Coney Island.  The greater city face-off however, is already won.  To the Cyclones, go the spoils.  In thirteen games played to date, the Brooks own an 8-5 record over their outer Borough rivals.

In the Ballpark at St. George, a crowd just shy of 5,000 watched their Bombers get shutout over eight innings.  Cyclones starter, Julian Hilario, completed 6.1 innings of stellar work.  He allowed four scattered hits and only issued one walk.  He struck out seven batters before handing the ball off to reliever Beck Wheeler with one out in the seventh inning.  Wheeler secured the last two outs without harm.  Replacing Beck Wheeler, Matthew Koch kept Staten Island scoreless in the eighth inning.

Brooklyn scored single runs in the third, sixth and seventh innings.  Brandon Nimmo crushed his sixth home run of the season; a solo shot; in the third.  With the bases loaded in the sixth, Kevin Plawecki scored from third base on a wild pitch.  Malkis De La Cruz led off the seventh inning with a double, and scored on Phillip Evans' RBI single, giving the Cyclones their 3-0 lead.

Into the ninth they went.  Matt Koch returned to the hill and immediately surrendered lead-off back to back doubles.  Confusion on the base paths kept runners at second and third however.  But that mattered not.  Matt Koch was pulled in favor of closer Tyler Vanderheiden.  The first batter Tyler faced, Daniel Lopez, singled to drive both base runners home, and get the Yankees within a run.  Vanderheiden then surrendered a second consecutive single.  Then out came Coach Donnelly; there went Tyler Vanderheiden; and in came John Mincone to put out the fire.  With the tying run at third base, Mincone struck out his first batter, and induced a pop-up from the last Yankees batter of the game.

John Mincone chalked up his sixth save of the season.  Starter Julian Hilario improved his won/loss record to a 4-4 mark.  Overall, Brooklyn pitching limited Staten Island to two hits in twelve at bats with runners in scoring position.  For the game, nine Staten Island hits equalled Brooklyn.

Including today, Brooklyn will have the benefit of playing their final four regular season games on  Steeplechase grounds.  After today's series finale against the Yankees, the Boardwalk Bums will end the season versus the Lowell Spinners.  Batavia will stay home to host the Auburn Doubledays for two games, then end the season with a pair of home and home contests versus the Jamestown Jammers.

To reiterate, Brooklyn has a one game lead over the Batavia Muckdogs in the Wild Card race, with only four games remaining in the regular season.  The race for the McNamara Division title is over.  Hudson Valley clinched.

Let's Go Cyclones!

** Yankees Graffiti; The Smart Crew - Williamsburg, Brooklyn

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