Cyclones take season opener against cross-bridge rival Yanks

June 16, 2014 Jaime DeJesus
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The Brooklyn Cyclones made a great first impression for the 2014 campaign in front of a crowd of over 8,000 as they took the season opener against the cross-bridge rival Staten Island Yankees, 8-2, at MCU Park on June 14. The season was slated to begin the previous night at Richmond County Stadium, but rain forced the teams and their fans to wait just a little bit longer.

The evening had all the celebratory traditions one expects on opening day. Every player on each club was announced followed by ceremonial first pitches thrown by kids, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Senator Chuck Schumer.

Once the teams took the field, the Cyclones hit the ground running. After a clean first frame for both teams, Brooklyn scored a pair of runs in each of the next three innings. Outfielder Michael Bernal drove in the first run of the season with an RBI double. However, the big blow came in the bottom of the third, when catcher Tomas Nido crushed a triple that drove in two runs. “[David Palladino] left a fastball in the zone and I put a good swing on it and helped team get a couple of runs,” he said.

Yankees starting pitcher Palladino struggled. Unable to make it out of the third inning, the right-hander surrendered six runs on six hits and walked five.

On the flip side, Cyclones starter Octavio Acosta was cruising along until the fifth inning when he experienced control issues. Acosta walked two and hit the last batter he faced, forcing in a run. That, coupled with his pitch count, cut his strong outing short.

“It’s a shame that he didn’t get the win,” said manager Tom Gamboa, who explained Acosta was on an 80 pitch limit due to the start of the season. “He just ran out of bullets. But his poise and composure were very good.” Acosta struck out seven batters and only gave up one run on two hits.

The Baby Bombers’ only real threat came in the same inning. Staten Island loaded the bases with two outs, when reliever Brandon Welch entered the sticky situation and tight-roped out of it unscathed.

“I kind of strive on that pressure. Getting into that situation, you’re adrenaline starts running and it’s fun,” said Welch.

Gamboa was impressed with his team’s first outing, but saw room for improvement. “All in all, for the first time it was good, but we’re all about trying to get better and I’m a perfectionist,” he said. “For me the only blemish with the pitching performance was the seven walks and two hit batters in a game that we were comfortable ahead.”

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