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July 4th -- Staten Island, NY -- The Brooklyn Cyclones (11-7) defeated the Staten Island Yankees (14-3) by a score of 10-2, ending Staten Island's franchise-high 13-game winning streak. The Yankees' last loss came against the Cyclones on June 19th. Starter Jeff Walters (1-1) picked up the win, striking out six in 5.1 innings of two-run ball. Brooklyn knocked Staten Island starter WIlliam Oliver (1-1) out of the game after just 0.2 innings. The Cyclones offense was led by Brian Harrison, Charley Thurber, and Travis Taijeron, who all put together multi-hit performences.
The Cyclones offense got started early with a two-out, two-run rally in the top of the first inning. After using used a single, a walk, and another single to load the bases, Brooklyn took a 2-0 lead on Charley Thurber's two-RBI single to left field. Staten Island was forced to turn to the bullpen to record the final out of the inning. Oliver yielded two runs on three hits and two walks, lasting just 0.2 innings.
Thurber ignited another two-out rally in the top of the third inning, lacing his second single of the game into left field. After advancing to third on a fielding error by Yankees shortstop Cito Culver, Thurber came around to score on a double by Travis Taijeron.
Entering the third inning up 3-0, Brooklyn extended their lead to five runs. After Ismael Tijerina drew a lead-off walk, hot-hitting Brandon Brown singled to give the Cyclones runners on first and second. A groundball back to the pitcher then allowed both runners to advance. With Tijerina and Brown in scoring position, Brian Harrison plated them both on a single to center field. Thurber recorded his third single in a row to advance Harrison to third, but he could not be brought around to score.
Staten Island sent nine batters to the plate before they could record a hit off of Walters. The Yankees strung together three hits, but scored both of their runs in the fourth inning on groundouts to the right side of the infield.
Brooklyn's offense then exploded for four runs in the top of the fifth. The first run of the inning came off of Taijeron's lead-off solo home run -- his second of the year. With one out, Staten Island was forced to turn to the bullpen for the second time, but Richard Lucas promptly greeted the Yankee reliever with a two-RBI double. Harrison then singled to drive Lucas in, putting the Cyclones up 9-2.
Walters struck out the side in the bottom of the frame, giving him six strikeouts in 5.0 innings. He returned to pitch the sixth, but recorded just one out before giving way to T.J. Chism. Chism, who hasn't yielded an earned run since 9/1/10, retired the side after inducing two groundouts.
Both offenses remained dormant until the bottom of the eighth inning. Lefthander Orlando Tovar worked himself into a bases-loaded jam with no outs, but he quickly recorded two strikeouts to limit the damage. An infield single was all the offense the Yankees could muster in the eighth.
The Cyclones got that run back in the top of the ninth. Carlos Leyva, who is playing in his second professional game, led off the inning by collected his first career hit. He came around to score his first professional run on a 6-4-3 double play to give the Cyclones a 10-2 lead.
Todd Weldon, who recently arrived from Savannah (A), tossed a perfect ninth inning to shut the door on the Yankees.
Brooklyn will take on Staten Island in the rubber match of the series, tomorrow, June 5 at 7 p.m. Chris Hilliard (3-0) will take the mound for Brooklyn and will be opposed by Wilton Rodriguez (0-1) for the Baby Bombers. The Cyclones will play the Vermont Lake Monsters in their return to MCU Park on July 6 at 7 p.m. Fans will have the opportunity to take advantage of Pay-One-Price Wednesday! For just $75 you can get FOUR tickets, FOUR hot dogs or hamburgers, FOUR soft drinks, FOUR chips, FOUR vouchers for Carvel soft serve ice cream, FOUR vouchers for Cyclones speed pitch, ONE parking pass and a $10 coupon for merchandise in the team store. Reggy the Purple Party Dude will also make an appearance and all fans can run the bases after the game. Tickets are still available by calling 718-507-TIXX, at the MCU Park box office, or at BrooklynCyclones.com.
by Ryan Gilbert