Monday, September 03, 2018

Brooklyn Cyclones: Playoff Fate To Be Decided Monday



Staten Island Yankees
Brooklyn Cyclones
Old Steeplechase Grounds

Brooklyn Cyclones: Brooks Escape Staten Island With Victory; Playoff Fate To Be Decided on Labor Day at Coney Island.

Labor they must, for on Monday there's much work to be done.

Brooklyn's nerve wracking victory over the Yankees at Richmond County grounds on Sunday affords the Cyclones one last opportunity at qualifying for this season's playoffs.  However, they're still dependent on Monday's outcome between Auburn and the Muckdogs at Batavia scheduled for early afternoon.  Very simply, an Auburn victory means both the Cyclones and Yankees are out.  But should both Brooklyn and Batavia emerge victoriously, the Cyclones move on to their first post-season appearance after a five year absence.  Therefore both Brooklyn and Staten Island should know what exactly is at stake heading into their late afternoon clash at Coney Island.

The Cyclones have relievers Billy Oxford and Tommy Wilson largely to thank for making Monday's game relevant. 

After spotting Cyclones starter Jose Butto to a 5-0 lead after just three and a half innings of play, Staten Island roars back in the bottom half of the fourth.  Butto contributes a base on balls and a hit batsman, but is knocked out of the box upon surrendering three hits, two going for extra bases, and allowing the Yankees to close within one.  Coach Alfonzo calls upon reliever Billy Oxford whom is successful in dousing the fire, then continues on to pitch a scoreless fifth.

Tommy Wilson takes over pitching duties in the sixth, and completely stymies the Yankees.  He faces 14 batters through the game's final four innings, throwing 54 pitches with 41 (76%) going for strikes.  He allows no runs on just two hits and walks none, while striking out six to earn a rather clutch and  lengthy save.  Billy Oxford is credited the victory.

Third baseman Chandler Avant's base hit in the fourth drives in what proves to be the difference in the game.  At the bottom of the order, second baseman Angel Manzanarez is big man on campus going 2 for 4 with a double, RBI, and a run scored.

At the very least, Edgardo Alfonzo will have guided the Cyclones to their first winning season since 2014, after which the team strings three losing seasons - the organizations only losing seasons since 2001.  Last year was easily their worst, having lost fifty game for the first time in their history.

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