Cyclones come up short in comeback bid
Error-Fueled Ninth-Inning Rally Not Enough in 7-5 Loss at Connecticut
The Connecticut Tigers seemed willing to give the Cyclones several chances at what would have been a miraculous comeback win Wednesday night in front of 4,107 fans at Thomas J. Dodd Memorial Stadium.
But after a series of errors and misplays put Brooklyn in position to post its first back-to-back victories of the young season, second baseman Nick Sergakis grounded out with two on in the top of the ninth inning to leave the Baby Bums with a 7-5 loss to the Tigers.
Brooklyn starter Gabriel Llanes, who pitched five solid frames in the Cyclones’ grueling 20-inning, season-opening loss to Staten Island at MCU Park last Friday night, was ineffective in his second outing.
The 20-year-old right-hander from Downey, California surrendered six earned runs on 10 hits over five innings to put the Baby Bums in an early 6-0 hole.
Jay Jabs ripped an RBI double in the fourth inning to begin Brooklyn’s comeback, and center fielder Jacob Zanon, the Mets’ 15th-round pick in this month’s MLB Draft, lofted a sacrifice fly to left field in the top of the sixth to shave the deficit to 6-2.
Trailing 7-2 heading into the ninth, the Cyclones received some help from the Tigers in putting together a potential game-tying rally.
After Zanon belted his first professional homer over the left-field fence with one out in the final frame, catching prospect and Xavier University product Dan Rizzie reached on an infield single.
A passed ball and subsequent two-out base hit by Dionis Paulino put runners at the corners for Dale Burdick, who hit what appeared to be a game-ending grounder to Tigers third baseman Josh Lester, who booted it, allowing Rizzie to score.
Right fielder Gene Cone, who homered and drove in three runs in Tuesday’s home win over Tri-City, tapped another grounder that had Tigers fans heading for the exits, but Connecticut shortstop Keaton Jones couldn’t handle it, cutting the deficit to 7-5 as Paulino raced home from second base.
Sergakis, however, couldn’t cash in on the extra chances Brooklyn received from the generous Connecticut infield, bouncing a pitch back to Tigers closer Yordy Cabrera with the tying run on base.
Despite the defeat, the Cyclones’ well-worn bullpen continued to impress as right-hander Alejandro Castro backed up Llanes by yielding a run on three hits over the final three frames.
His effort allowed Brooklyn manager Tom Gamboa to rest his stable of young relievers following the Cyclones’ slew of marathon extra-inning contests to begin the campaign.
Brooklyn’s offense, however, went back to its anemic ways after putting together 17 runs in its previous two games, including Monday’s six-hour, 17-inning home loss to the ValleyCats.
The Cyclones managed just five hits off four Connecticut hurlers, including starter Ryan Castellanos, who limited them to a run on two hits over the first six innings.
Brooklyn batters went a combined 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, leaving six men on base to slip to 2-4 on the season.
The Baby Bums remained three games behind first-place Staten Island in the McNamara Division standings after the Yankees (5-1) suffered their first loss against visiting West Virginia at Richmond County Bank Ballpark Wednesday.
This, That and the Other Thing: The Cyclones sent 21-year-old right-hander Harol Gonzalez to the hill for Thursday night’s middle game of the Connecticut series. The native Dominican was very strong in his Brooklyn debut at Staten Island last Saturday, yielding a run on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts over five frames. But the Brooklyn offense was no-hit over 10 innings by the Baby Bombers, suffering a walk-off loss to its Verrazano rivals … The Cyclones will return to Coney Island on Saturday to open a three-game set with the Hudson Valley Renegades. Game time is 6 p.m. with post-game fireworks scheduled … Wednesday night’s anemic hitting effort dropped Brooklyn’s New York-Penn League-worst batting average to .156 … Cyclones pitchers have already logged 72 1/3 innings through only six games, due to the 37 combined frames it took to complete last Friday’s season opener vs. S.I. and Monday’s marathon against Tri-City. The Cyclones have already been forced to use three positions players — Paulino, Franklin Correa and Santo Marte — as emergency relievers during the season’s first week. Correa, a second baseman, dazzled Staten Island batters on Opening Night here in Coney Island, tossing two scoreless frames while allowing just one hit and striking out a batter.
Leave a Comment
Leave a Comment