OH SO CLOSE! CYCLONES WIN, BUT LOSE OUT ON PLAYOFFS
STATEN ISLAND, NY – SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 – Coming into this evening, the Cyclones needed a win and a Connecticut loss to clinch a spot in the New York-Penn League Playoffs. For most of the evening, the Cyclones were in good shape as their pitchers dominated the Yankees en route to a 3-1 victory in their regular season finale, and Lowell had a two-run lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, but things changed quickly. The Tigers scored twice in the seventh to tie the game, then scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth and held on for a 9-8 victory after a Lowell rally ended with runners on 2nd and 3rd. Brooklyn and Connecticut finish the season with the same record, but the Tigers took four of six games from the Cyclones this season to take the tie-breaker.
After matching zeroes in the first inning, Brooklyn drew first blood in the top of the second. Jhoan Ureña and Tomas Nido started the rally with back-to-back singles to start the frame and when Pedro Perez reached on a fielding error, the bases were loaded with one out. Michael Bernal fanned for the second out of the frame but J.C. Rodriguez, making only his second start for the Cyclones, stroked a single into right field to score Urena and give Brooklyn the 1-0 edge. Nido was thrown out trying to score on the single for the third out of the inning.
The Cyclones lead would swell in the top of the fifth, again thanks to a two-out RBI. Pedro Perez started the inning with a single and stole second to move into scoring position. After a strikeout and a ground out, John Mora ripped a single up the middle to plate Perez and give Brooklyn a 2-0 advantage at the end of five.
Brooklyn starter Casey Meisner would leave the game after his 5.0 shutout innings. The tall righthander allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out three. He turned the ball over to Brad Wieck who tossed 2.0 shutout frames, striking out three.
In the seventh, the ‘Clones tacked on an insurance run courtesy of a J.C. Rodriguez RBI groundout to push their lead to 3-0.
In the eighth, Staten Island was able to mount their first rally of the evening off of Brooklyn reliever Kelly Secrest. The south paw quickly found himself in trouble after Isaias Tejeda started the eighth with a double down the left field line. After Secrest got a strike out and a pop out, Collin Slaybaugh laced the second double of the game to push home Staten Island’s first run and slice Brooklyn’s lead to 3-1.
That is how the game would end as Shane Bay tossed a perfect ninth inning to collect his 15th save of the season in as many chances.
The Cyclones finish the season with a record of 42-34, their 14th consecutive season with a record of .500 or better, and also led the New York-Penn League in attendance with 231,628 fans coming through the gates at MCU Park – nearly 70,000 fans more than any other team in the ballpark. But as they say in Brooklyn baseball lore, “Wait ‘Til Next Year.”