Photo Courtesy of George Napolitano
Brooklyn, NY -- August 20th -- The Brooklyn Cyclones (34-25) returned to game action after last night’s cancellation and were unable to generate any sort of offensive, falling to the Tri-City ValleyCats (27-34) by a score of 3-0 on Saturday night.
Sporting a successful 27-12 record all-time against the Valley Cats, Brooklyn was held hitless through 6.0 innings by opposing starter Nick Tropeano. T.J. Rivera ended the suspense with one out in the bottom of the seventh with a single to right, but the second baseman was left stranded. The base hit was the lone hit for Brooklyn on the evening. Both teams combined for eight total hits.
Tri-City jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning off of Cyclones starter Jeff Walters (2-6, 3.76) after the righthander issued a leadoff walk to Neiko Johnson. Resorting to small-ball, Johnson stole second base in the ensuing at bat before Justin Gominsky moved him to third on a sacrifice. Subsequently, a sacrifice fly to right by Rafael Venezuela brought him home on a bang-bang play at the plate for the first run.
In the top of the sixth with one-out, the ValleyCats put consecutive runners on with a double and a single respectively before the second run was plated by on a single to left by Miles Hamblin.
With one out in the seventh inning, Neiko Johnson reached second base on a throwing error by T.J. Rivera and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Tri-City padded their lead further in the top of the seventh with a single to left by Valenzuela. The Cyclones pitching staff had entered the day ranked second in the New York-Penn League with a 3.06 earned run average, also allowing a league low 158 free passes.
A four-run deficit was averted in the top of the ninth inning on a sparkling defensive play. With one out and the bases loaded, Matthew Duffy hit a laser that was snagged by a leaping T.J. Rivera who quickly regained composure and threw to first to nail the runner for an inning-ending double play.
ValleyCats reliever Ryan Cole retired the side in order in the ensuing frame to pick up the save and preserve the victory in the series opener.
Despite the loss, Brooklyn remains 2.5 games out of first place in the McNamara Division courtesy of a Staten Island Yankees 2-1 loss to the Lowell Spinners.
Cyclones will continue their three-game set with the ValleyCats on Sunday, 5 PM. Chris Hilliard (3-1. 3.60 ERA) opposes Jamaine Cotton (2-0, 2.70 ERA). The Shea Stadium staple makes its way to Brooklyn as Banner Day comes to MCU Park. Fans will also be invited to have a catch on the field prior to the game and kids can run the bases after the game. It will also be a salute to Sandlot Baseball. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 718-507-TIXX, visiting the MCU Park box office, or logging onto BrooklynCyclones.com.