Written by Ryan Gilbert
September 2nd – Brooklyn, NY – Entering tonight with a one-game lead in the Wild Card, the Brooklyn Cyclones (43-29) needed a combination of two wins and/or Williamsport losses to clinch a playoff berth. They got just that with a 4-0 victory over the Staten Island Yankees (45-26) and a 3-2 loss by the CrossCutters at the hands of the State College Spikes.
Making his Cyclones debut, Starting Pitcher Domingo Tapia (1-0, 0.00) shut down the Baby Bombers over 6.0 stellar innings. The native of the Dominican Republic did not walk any one, allowed just five hits, and recorded six strikeouts.
The ‘Clones jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third, which they protected for the remainder of the game. After T.J. Rivera led off with a single, Danny Muno moved him over to third on a double to left field. The base hit extended Muno’s hitting streak to 12 games, which ties Javier Rodriguez for the longest Cyclones hit streak this season.
With runners on second and third, Charley Thurber then plated Rivera for the first run of the game on an RBI-ground out. Muno held on the play, but came around to score in the next at bat on a double to left field by Javier Rodriguez -- his 22nd of the season.
Two quick outs ended Brooklyn’s rally, but the offense was back at it in the fourth inning. A lead off double by Travis Taijeron was followed up with a single by Xorge Carrillo to put the NYPL slugging percentage leader on third base. Taijeron was then plated on a sac fly by Rivera to extend Brooklyn’s lead to three runs over Staten Island.
In his sixth and final inning of work, Tapia recorded two quick outs to extend his streak of retired hitters to seven, but two consecutive singles ended the string of retired Yanks. However, the righthander bounced back to record his sixth strike out to end the threat.
The Cyclones extended their lead to four runs in the bottom of the seventh. A two-out double by Richard Lucas plated Muno, who reached on a walk and moved into scoring position on a stolen base. The stolen base was Muno’s ninth of the season, which leads the team.
The 4-0 lead was protected in the eighth and ninth innings by Todd Weldon, who picked up his team-best sixth save in the victory. The righthander tossed a total of 3.0 scoreless innings and struck out five.
This will be Brooklyn's eighth total playoff appearance and third consecutive playoff berth -- a first in its 11-year history. The playoffs will start on Tuesday, September 6. Tickets are now available and plenty of good seats remain. Mini-Plan holders can take advantage of a buy one, get one field box seat for free offer.
However, there are still two exciting regular season games remaining. The Cyclones will cross the Verrazano Bridge tomorrow, Saturday, September 3, to take on the Staten Island Yankees at Richmond County Bank Ballpark at 7 p.m. The Battle for the Bridge will conclude at MCU Park on Sunday, September 4 at 5 p.m. It will be Fan Appreciation Day and fans will be invited to have a pre-game catch on the field. Kids will also be allowed to run the bases post-game. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 718-507-TIXX, visiting the MCU Park box office, or logging onto BrooklynCyclones.com.