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CYCLONES DEFEAT YANKEES IN SEASON OPENER

CYCLONES OPEN SEASON WITH WIN OVER BABY BOMBERS
by Chris Dela Rosa

Just as they did last season, the Cyclones and Yankees felt the wrath of Mother Nature, raining out what was supposed to be opening day.  As a result, the two teams opened the season across the bridge in Staten Island, with the Yankees picking up the victory a year ago.   

This year the roles were reversed. The two opened the season in Brooklyn instead, and the Cyclones dominated the Yankees in front of a crowd of 8,175 Brooklyn fans who watched a strong performance on the mound by starting pitcher Octavio Acosta, who received help from a high-powered Cyclones offense.

“I thought the guys handled it really good,” said Cyclones manager Tom Gamboa.  “I was really pleasantly surprised with how good the guys handled [the atmosphere], all three pitchers had good stuff,” he added. 

Octavio Acosta took the mound for the Cyclones and faced opposing batters with ease, quickly going through a 1-2-3 inning.  After the quick inning, Staten Island took the field, led by their starting pitcher, David Palladino.  Just as Acosta did before him, Palladino quickly went through the Cyclones batters, who seemed eager at the plate.

After another quick top half of the inning, the Cyclones bats came alive.  Third baseman Tomas Nido reached on a walk bringing up Jhoan Ureña.  On a 2-2 pitch, Ureña knocked one in the opposite direction, and because of some bad luck, the ball hit Nido, ruling him out.

With Ureña on first and one out, right fielder Michael Bernal came up and delivered by hitting a double down the line in left field, scoring Ureña all the way from first.  The scoring did not stop there, left fielder Joe Tuschak came to the plate, hitting another double and driving in Bernal to give the Cyclones an early 2-0 lead.

The very next inning, the Cyclones did not let up.  With one out, shortstop Amed Rosario worked a five-pitch walk.  Designated hitter and sixth round selection in this year’s draft Tyler Moore hit a single to shallow right field bringing up fellow catcher Nido.  Nido gave the ball a ride to center field, and unfortunately for the Baby Bombers, center fielder Daniel Lopez was not able to track the ball down, resulting in a Nido triple, increasing the Cyclones lead to 4-0.

Following the Nido triple, Ureña returned to the plate, working a walk.  The Cyclones looked like they were going to tack on another run or two, but a pop out by Bernal and strikeout by Tuschak brought the inning to a close.

Acosta continued his dominance through the fourth inning; despite giving up a walk he picked up his fourth and fifth strikeouts of the night.  The final out of the top half of the inning came on an impressive play by the shortstop, Rosario, handling a hard hit ball with ease and gunning the runner out at first.

Just as they did in the second and third inning, the Cyclones began going to work against Palladino.  With the bases loaded and no outs, Rosario came up to bat, grounding out to the opposing shortstop, but scored a run.  Following the at-bat, the Yankees pulled starting pitcher David Palladino.

With new pitcher Conor Mullee in the game, the Cyclones did not stop scoring.  On a 2-1 count to Tyler Moore, Mullee threw a wild pitch, bringing in Dimas Ponce and advancing Tucker Tharp to third.  Moore and Nido would later strikeout, stranding Tharp at third.

In the top of the fifth, Acosta found himself in a jam.  After being in control with a runner on and two outs, a hit and walk later, he found himself in a bases loaded situation against shortstop Austin Aune.  After getting a 0-2 count, Acosta lost control of the pitch, hitting Aune in his back, bringing in the first Staten Island run.

Following the walk, new manager Tom Gamboa made his first trip to the mound to bring in Brandon Welch in relief.  After a shaky first two pitches, Welch was able to get out of the inning unscathed by forcing a pop out to Tuschak, keeping the Cyclones in the lead, 6-1.

In the bottom half of the fifth, the Cyclones failed to extend their streak of two runs scored in an inning past three as Mullee was able to shut them down without much trouble.

Welch returned to the mound in the top of the sixth inning.  Despite walking two batters, he was able to continue his strong performance, not giving up a hit, and striking out the final batter and working out of another jam.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Yankees went to right-handed pitcher Andury Acevedo out of the bullpen.  Acevedo quickly went through the top of the order, finishing off a strong inning of work by striking out Cyclones shortstop Amed Rosario.

During his second full inning of work, Welch cruised through his first two batters, forcing pop ups to the outfield.  Just one strike away from a 1-2-3 inning, Staten Island batter Austin Aune took a ball to his backside.  Welch recovered quickly and forced another pop out to left field to get out of the inning. 

“It was a big crowd, but I like pitching in front of bit crowds like that, it just gives you momentum, it gets your adrenaline pumping more and more, it’s fun to pitch in situations like that,” said Brandon Welch who picked up the win on opening day.

Once again, the Yankees went to the bullpen, bringing another righty, Francis Joseph.  Several miscues by the Yankees lead to the Cyclones tacking on a few more runs.  After a Moore walk, Nido hit a soft single to centerfield, an error by center fielder Lopez allowed the two runners to advance.  The next at-bat, Ureña knocked a single to right, driving in Moore, but Nido was too slow coming around the corner and was tagged out at the plate.  Moments later Ureña would advance to third and then score after a passed ball.  For the fourth time, the Cyclones would score two runs in an inning, extending their lead to 8-2.

“I felt great out there, I was really calm and patient at the plate, which helped me,” said Ureña who finished the game with two hits and a run batted in.

With the heart of the Staten Island lineup set to bat in the top of the eighth inning, the Cyclones went with the southpaw pitcher, Shane Bay.  Bay worked his way through the order without much difficulty surrendering one hit on a soft grounder towards third.

The great evening for Cyclones batters continued in the bottom of the eighth.  To leadoff the inning Ponce hit a sharp line drive to left for a double.  Gamboa went to his bench, bringing in Michael Katz to pinch hit for Tharp.  Katz worked a walk, bringing up Rosario.  Rosario’s hitless night would continue after striking out, but Moore would walk to load the bases immediately after.

A pair of substitutions following the walk brought pitcher Elvin Perez to the mound and Anthony Chavez to the plate, with the Cyclones threatening to score again.  Chavez would ground into the play, keeping the score locked at 8-1.

Bay would return to the mound to close out the game in the top of the ninth.  With his control starting to slip away and an error by Rosario, the game continued and the Cyclones would give up another run before wrapping up the game and picking up their first victory of the season.

“It’s always important to win for us, we’re trying to get the last game of the season and win it all,” said Tomas Nido.  “Getting the win against the Yankees, that’s great, cause last year we started off slow, we went 0-3, so getting that first win was great.

 

 

CYCLONES OPEN SEASON WITH WIN OVER BABY BOMBERS
by Chris Dela Rosa

Just as they did last season, the Cyclones and Yankees felt the wrath of Mother Nature, raining out what was supposed to be opening day.  As a result, the two teams opened the season across the bridge in Staten Island, with the Yankees picking up the victory a year ago.  

This year the roles were reversed. The two opened the season in Brooklyn instead, and the Cyclones dominated the Yankees in front of a crowd of 8,175 Brooklyn fans who watched a strong performance on the mound by starting pitcher Octavio Acosta, who received help from a high-powered Cyclones offense.

“I thought the guys handled it really good,” said Cyclones manager Tom Gamboa.  “I was really pleasantly surprised with how good the guys handled [the atmosphere], all three pitchers had good stuff,” he added.

Octavio Acosta took the mound for the Cyclones and faced opposing batters with ease, quickly going through a 1-2-3 inning.  After the quick inning, Staten Island took the field, led by their starting pitcher, David Palladino.  Just as Acosta did before him, Palladino quickly went through the Cyclones batters, who seemed eager at the plate. 

After another quick top half of the inning, the Cyclones bats came alive.  Third baseman Tomas Nido reached on a walk bringing up Jhoan Ureña.  On a 2-2 pitch, Ureña knocked one in the opposite direction, and because of some bad luck, the ball hit Nido, ruling him out.

With Ureña on first and one out, right fielder Michael Bernal came up and delivered by hitting a double down the line in left field, scoring Ureña all the way from first.  The scoring did not stop there, left fielder Joe Tuschak came to the plate, hitting another double and driving in Bernal to give the Cyclones an early 2-0 lead. 

The very next inning, the Cyclones did not let up.  With one out, shortstop Amed Rosario worked a five-pitch walk.  Designated hitter and sixth round selection in this year’s draft Tyler Moore hit a single to shallow right field bringing up fellow catcher Nido.  Nido gave the ball a ride to center field, and unfortunately for the Baby Bombers, center fielder Daniel Lopez was not able to track the ball down, resulting in a Nido triple, increasing the Cyclones lead to 4-0. 

Following the Nido triple, Ureña returned to the plate, working a walk.  The Cyclones looked like they were going to tack on another run or two, but a pop out by Bernal and strikeout by Tuschak brought the inning to a close.

Acosta continued his dominance through the fourth inning; despite giving up a walk he picked up his fourth and fifth strikeouts of the night.  The final out of the top half of the inning came on an impressive play by the shortstop, Rosario, handling a hard hit ball with ease and gunning the runner out at first.

Just as they did in the second and third inning, the Cyclones began going to work against Palladino.  With the bases loaded and no outs, Rosario came up to bat, grounding out to the opposing shortstop, but scored a run.  Following the at-bat, the Yankees pulled starting pitcher David Palladino.

With new pitcher Conor Mullee in the game, the Cyclones did not stop scoring.  On a 2-1 count to Tyler Moore, Mullee threw a wild pitch, bringing in Dimas Ponce and advancing Tucker Tharp to third.  Moore and Nido would later strikeout, stranding Tharp at third.

In the top of the fifth, Acosta found himself in a jam.  After being in control with a runner on and two outs, a hit and walk later, he found himself in a bases loaded situation against shortstop Austin Aune.  After getting a 0-2 count, Acosta lost control of the pitch, hitting Aune in his back, bringing in the first Staten Island run.

Following the walk, new manager Tom Gamboa made his first trip to the mound to bring in Brandon Welch in relief.  After a shaky first two pitches, Welch was able to get out of the inning unscathed by forcing a pop out to Tuschak, keeping the Cyclones in the lead, 6-1.

In the bottom half of the fifth, the Cyclones failed to extend their streak of two runs scored in an inning past three as Mullee was able to shut them down without much trouble.

Welch returned to the mound in the top of the sixth inning.  Despite walking two batters, he was able to continue his strong performance, not giving up a hit, and striking out the final batter and working out of another jam.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Yankees went to right-handed pitcher Andury Acevedo out of the bullpen.  Acevedo quickly went through the top of the order, finishing off a strong inning of work by striking out Cyclones shortstop Amed Rosario.

During his second full inning of work, Welch cruised through his first two batters, forcing pop ups to the outfield.  Just one strike away from a 1-2-3 inning, Staten Island batter Austin Aune took a ball to his backside.  Welch recovered quickly and forced another pop out to left field to get out of the inning.

“It was a big crowd, but I like pitching in front of bit crowds like that, it just gives you momentum, it gets your adrenaline pumping more and more, it’s fun to pitch in situations like that,” said Brandon Welch who picked up the win on opening day.

Once again, the Yankees went to the bullpen, bringing another righty, Francis Joseph.  Several miscues by the Yankees lead to the Cyclones tacking on a few more runs.  After a Moore walk, Nido hit a soft single to centerfield, an error by center fielder Lopez allowed the two runners to advance.  The next at-bat, Ureña knocked a single to right, driving in Moore, but Nido was too slow coming around the corner and was tagged out at the plate.  Moments later Ureña would advance to third and then score after a passed ball.  For the fourth time, the Cyclones would score two runs in an inning, extending their lead to 8-2.

“I felt great out there, I was really calm and patient at the plate, which helped me,” said Ureña who finished the game with two hits and a run batted in.

With the heart of the Staten Island lineup set to bat in the top of the eighth inning, the Cyclones went with the southpaw pitcher, Shane Bay.  Bay worked his way through the order without much difficulty surrendering one hit on a soft grounder towards third.

The great evening for Cyclones batters continued in the bottom of the eighth.  To leadoff the inning Ponce hit a sharp line drive to left for a double.  Gamboa went to his bench, bringing in Michael Katz to pinch hit for Tharp.  Katz worked a walk, bringing up Rosario.  Rosario’s hitless night would continue after striking out, but Moore would walk to load the bases immediately after.

A pair of substitutions following the walk brought pitcher Elvin Perez to the mound and Anthony Chavez to the plate, with the Cyclones threatening to score again.  Chavez would ground into the play, keeping the score locked at 8-1.

Bay would return to the mound to close out the game in the top of the ninth.  With his control starting to slip away and an error by Rosario, the game continued and the Cyclones would give up another run before wrapping up the game and picking up their first victory of the season. 

It's always important to win for us, we're trying to get to the last game of the season and win it all," said Tomas Nido.  "Getting the win against the Yankees, that's great, cause last year we started off slow, we went 0-3, so getting that first win was great."



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