Brooklyn, New York- June 20th- The Brooklyn Cyclones (3-1), fresh off of taking two of three from the Staten Island Yankees this past weekend, defeated the Aberdeen IronBirds (1-3) on Angel Pagan Bobblehead Night at MCU Park.
Lefthander Chris Hilliard (1-0), who led Brooklyn in wins last season (9), became the first pitcher to win 11 games as a Cyclone by throwing 5.0 scoreless innings with three strikeouts and two walks on just three hits. The southpaw also collected a single win with the Cyclones during the 2009 campaign.
After both teams failed to get on the board through the first three innings, the Cyclones took a lead in the bottom of the fourth, which they were able to defend for the rest of the evening. Third basemen Richard Lucas led off the frame with a walk and designated hitter Brian Harrison followed up with a line drive double to left. IronBirds starter Matt Drummond (0-1) then surrendered the ballgame’s first run on a balk. Travis Taijeron then laced a hard-hit ground ball to third basemen Connor Narron’s glove side, which deflected into left field, scoring Harrison for a 2-0 lead. The San Diego native has now driven in a run in three straight contests and is hitting .429 on the season.
The Cyclones would add two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on an infield single by second basemen Brandon Brown and an RBI single to left field by rightfielder Javier Rodriguez for a 4-0 lead.
Brooklyn reliever Orlando Tovar replaced Hilliard to the start the sixth inning but surrendered three runs. Designated hitter Joe Vellegia avoided the shutout for Aberdeen by launching a two-run home run to left field. Rightfielder Jeremy Nowak narrowed the deficit to one after plating a run on a double off the left field wall.
The difference-making run was added by Brooklyn in the bottom of the seventh inning. With one out, shortstop Danny Muno tripled down the right field line. After Aberdeen reliever Enrico Jimenez replaced Alex Schmarzo, Richard Lucas reached base and drove in Muno on an infield popup that wasn’t fielded.
Cyclones’ reliever Jeremy Gould earned his second save of the season but not before a late IronBirds’ threat. Catcher Wnyston Sawyer narrowed the deficit to a run once again on a solo home run to left field before Gould retired shortstop Mychal Givens on groundout to third base, stranding the tying run on second base much to the delight of the 7,258 in attendance.
The series with the IronBirds continues tomorrow evening at MCU Park. RHP Marco Camarena (0-0) and LHP Aaron Wirsch (0-0) will both make their first starts of the season. Fans in attendance will receive a free CUNY Cyclones Tee-Shirt and fans of all ages will be able to run the bases at the conclusion of the game. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 718-507-TIXX, at the MCU Park box office or right here on brooklyncyclones.com.