Saturday, June 18, 2016

Staten Island Yankees spoil Brooklyn season opener in 20-inning marathon

From the desk of:  THE CONEY ISLAND NINE

Opening Day Final
S.I. Yankees    2
BK Cyclones   1

Richmond County Bombers outlasted the Cyclones, a fireworks show, Dino's, the Scream Zone attractions, and most kids under 12 years old during a nearly 6 hour long Opening Day/Late Night marathon at MCU Park.

One batter and eight minutes into the Cyclones' regular season, center fielder Enmanuel Zabala connected on a high arching, lead-off home run off the scoreboard in left field against Yankees starter Adonis Rosa.

The Richmond Nine struck back, touching Brooklyn starter Gabriel Llanes for three hits and an RBI sac-fly in the top of the 4th inning to take a 2-1 lead.  Llanes otherwise pitched 6 innings, allowed just the two earned runs on six hits, a walk, and fanned one batter before departing to a no-decision.   Gabriel Llanes benefited from Brandon Brosher's a 2-out double, and a triple off the bat of Darryl Knight in the bottom of the frame, which knotted the game at two, and got him off the hook for a potential loss.

That's the way the game remained for the next 15 innings and through many more hours of play.

Brooklyn let a golden scoring opportunity escape them in the home eighth.  Staten Island reliever Justin Kamplain issued three walks to load the bases and was naturally yanked in favor of David Sosebee.  But with two outs, Sosebee whiffed Brandon Brosher swinging to end the threat.

Moreover, the Cyclones were kept hit-less between the 8th and 14th innings.

Staten Island utilized five relievers, two of which tallied three innings each, while Michael Schaub tossed four.  Cyclones manager Tom Gamboa was more reserved in his usage, limiting six relievers to a pair of innings each, and calling on nine relievers overall.

Coach Gamboa summoned Dionis Paulino to pitch the top of the 20th frame, who promptly walked the first three Yankees batters he faced.  A sac-fly to center later by center fielder Ricardo Ferreria plated the go-ahead run.

Brooklyn went down in order during last licks, while second baseman Santo Marte fanned to end the game.

In an eerie reminder of last season's all pitch/no hit team, the Cyclones went just 1 for 12 with RISP.

The Baby Brooks will venture into Richmond County Saturday to complete their home-and-home opening series against the Yankees.

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