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Photo courtesy of George Napolitano
August 11th -- Batavia, NY -- The Brooklyn Cyclones (30-24) split a doubleheader with  the Batavia Muckdogs (25-28) at Dwyer Stadium on Thursday night.  The Cyclones were victorious by a score of 3-1 in the first game, but fell in extra innings by a score of 2-1 in game two. Both games were scheduled for seven innings, but the second game went eight.

Eduardo Aldama (3-3, 4.06) earned the victory in the first game after he held the Muckdogs scoreless in his 5.0 innings of work. The native of Venezuela also struck out six and allowed just four base runners. Jack Leathersich allowed Batavia’s lone run of the game, but picked up his first career save after working the final 2.0 innings. Danny Muno was 3-for-4 with a run scored to pace the Cyclones and raise his average to .355.

With two outs in the bottom of the first, the Muckdogs put runners on second and third, but Aldama induced an inning ending strikeout to erase the threat.

It was the Cyclones who got on the board first, pushing two runs across in the top of the third. To lead off the frame, Carlos Leyva singled and Danny Muno doubled to put two 'Clones in scoring position. After recording a strikeout, Batavia looked to limit the damage by inducing a ground ball to the shortstop from Javier Rodriguez. The shortstop threw to third hoping to prevent Muno from advancing, but was unable to catch the speedster in-time. On the fielder's choice, J-Rod reached first base and Leyva scored to put Brooklyn up, 1-0.

A fielding error by the third baseman on a ground ball off the bat of Richard Lucas then allowed Muno to score, giving the Cyclones a 2-0 lead. J-Rod moved up to second and Lucas reached first on the blunder. However, the third time was the charm for Batavia in the following at bat as they were able to turn an inning-ending double play on the third consecutive ground ball of the inning.

The Cyclones were unsuccessful on doubling their lead in the fifth inning, but still managed to plate one run. With one out and Leyva at third and Thurber at first, Rodriguez hit a soft grounder back to the pitcher that Leyva looked to score on. However, he was out on a play at the plate. On the play, Thurber moved up to second and Rodriguez reached. Lucas then came through with a two-out RBI on a single up the middle. The base hit plated Thurber and put Brooklyn up 3-0.

After striking out the lead-off batter, Jack Leathersich allowed back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the sixth to give Batavia their first, but what proved to be, only run of the game. The lefty then settled down to strike out two Muckdogs in a row to end the frame.

Leathersich struck out an additional two batters in the bottom of the seventh en route to picking up the save and ensuring a 3-1 Cyclones victory. 

In game two, a 1-1 tie was taken into extra innings, but a two-out double in the eighth inning plated the winning run for Batavia. Although he struck out five batters in 2.2 innings, reliever Jeremy Gould (1-3, 3.38) was tagged with the loss. Lefthanded reliever Danny Miranda (2-2, 3.43) picked up the win for the Muckdogs after striking out the side in the top of the eighth. Despite managing just four hits, the Cyclones were kept in the game by starter Jeff Walters, who was a wizard, constantly working out of situations with runners on to keep the Cyclones in the game.

Batavia built off of a lead-off double by Garrett Wittels to score first in the top of the first. Jeff Walters quickly induced a pair of groundouts, but the second ground ball was to the right side of the infield and Wittels was able to move over to third. Walters then induced a third consecutive ground ball, this time to shortstop Ismael Tijerina, but first baseman Cole Frenzel was unable to handle the ensuing throw, allowing the runner to reach and Wittels to score from third. Wittels, who is well-known for his 56-game hitting streak at Florida Atlantic University, was 5-for-8 in today’s doubleheader.

The Cyclones went down in order in the second inning, but tied the game at one run apiece in the third. T.J. Rivera led off the frame with a single, but after Muno rolled over to third, was erased on a fielder’s choice at second base. The second baseman, who fielded the throw from third, fired to first to get Muno for a double play, but threw the ball away instead. Muno advanced to second on the error. After advancing to third on a groundout to the right side, he came around to score on a single to left field by J-Rod, tying the game at 1-1.

Walters worked out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the frame and continued to work out of situations with runners on until he was removed after the fifth inning.

His replacement, Jeremy Gould, came out of the pen throwing smoke, striking out the side in the sixth inning and then sitting down the Muckdogs 1-2-3 in the seventh.

However, the lefthander yielded a lead-off walk in the eighth and then a two-out RBI-double to Juan Castillo to give Batavia their game-winning run.

With the extra-innings loss in game two, the Cyclones split Thursday’s doubleheader with the Muckdogs, but still walked away with the series win as they won earlier today and yesterday.

The Cyclones continue their six-game road trip against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers tomorrow, Friday, August 12 at 7 p.m. Following the NYPL All-Star game on Monday, the Cyclones will return to MCU Park on Wedneday, August 17 when they begin a three-game series against the Jamestown Jammers at 7 p.m. It will be BrooklynNite and the first 3,000 fans will receive rally towels as part of Brooklyn’s Biggest Block Party. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 718-507-TIXX, visiting the MCU Park box office, or logging onto

--Ryan Gilbert

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