Brooklyn Boro

Cyclones sweep back into contention

Take Twin Bill from Arch Rival Yanks to Climb Back to .500

July 27, 2016 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Tuesday’s doubleheader was twice as nice for the Cyclones as they swept the arch rival Yankees and moved within three games of first-place Hudson Valley in the ever-tightening McNamara Division race. Eagle photos by Jeff Melnik
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The suddenly surging Brooklyn Cyclones went into Wednesday’s league-wide day off in high spirits after completing a doubleheader sweep of the arch rival Staten Island Yankees at MCU Park on Tuesday in front of 5,720 fans, who braved the sweltering conditions in Coney Island.

Needing to complete a three-game series sweep of the Baby Bombers to fully solidify their late July resurgence, and re-establish themselves as a serious threat to win the McNamara Division after three straight non-playoff campaigns, the Cyclones did just that.

Brooklyn took Game One, 2-1, behind the brilliant pitching of fast-emerging prospect Erik Manoah, who yielded a run on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts over six strong innings, working into and out of trouble like a poised mound veteran.

The 20-year-old Miami, Florida native, who began his career battling to find enough consistency to make his unquestioned abilities shine through, has now won his last three starts, yielding one earned run or fewer each time out.

“I am so proud of Erik Manoah,” Cyclones manager Tom Gamboa beamed in his office moments after Brooklyn completed the doubleheader sweep with a dramatic 3-2, walk-off victory in Game 2.

“If you know how far he has come, he’s always had stuff,” Gamboa continued about his hard-throwing right-hander, who was the Mets’ 14th-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. “But his maturity level, or [previous] lack thereof … to see how he competed every pitch today. I was just very proud of him.”

Manoah was followed by 27-year-old Minor League veteran Kyle Regnault, who worked around a hit and struck out one in a scoreless seventh to cap the win.

Shortstop prospect Colby Woodmansee, selected in the fifth round by New York this past June, provided all the offense the Baby Bums would need in the opener, finishing 1-for-2 with a double and two RBIs.

The Arizona State alum got Brooklyn even in the bottom of the fourth with a sacrifice fly and put the Cyclones in front for good with a booming run-scoring two-base hit off the center field fence in the sixth.

“Woodmansee, with the bat, obviously was the star of Game One,” Gamboa said. “They made a mistake and he drove it off the wall.”

Game 2 appeared to be heading in Staten Island’s favor as the Cyclones entered the last half of the seventh trailing by a run.

But a throwing error by Yankees shortstop Angel Aguilar allowed the tying run to score that inning before Brooklyn walked off with the victory in the eighth on slugger Pete Alonso’s sacrifice fly.

Raul Jacobsen started Game 2 for the Cyclones after being informed that he was being shipped up to Columbia, South Carolina following the contest.

The right-hander out of UC Davis held the Yanks scoreless over the first five frames while yielding only two hits and fanning four without issuing a walk.

Gabriel Llanes (2-4) picked up the win in relief, despite yielding a couple of runs on three hits over the final three frames.

“In the second game, Jacobsen is going up to Columbia, so normally that would have been Llanes’ start,” Gamboa revealed. “The organization needed [Jacobsen] to go five innings today. That’s why we did a last-minute change. In fairness to Llanes, he came in and gave us a great sixth.”

The third-place Cyclones, seemingly buried at the bottom of the McNamara standings due to Staten Island’s early burst out of the gate, have won four in a row and five of six overall to move back to the .500 mark at 19-19.

They are also now just three games back of first-place Hudson Valley in the division race after knocking the Baby Bombers down a peg to second.

“Fortunately for us, it panned out,” a relieved Gamboa admitted. “It’s good to get back to .500. I think we’ve won four of five or five of six (with) pitching and defense and better hitting, better at-bats.”

Everything does appear to be better for Brooklyn at the halfway point of the grueling 76-game, tightly packed New York-Penn League schedule, making it a better, albeit blistering, summer for those who will fill up MCU Park from now until the first week of September.

This, That and the Other Thing: Jacobsen heads to Columbia after going 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA in seven appearances, including Tuesday’s start, for Brooklyn … Woodmansee, who went 1-for-4 in the nightcap, is batting .284 over 30 games during his first taste of pro ball, and is riding a five-game hitting streak into this weekend’s series in Vermont. After playing three on the road, the Cyclones will return to MCU for a three-game set vs. Aberdeen, beginning Sunday at 4 p.m., which will be headlined by the “From Tears to Cheers Wilmer Flores Bobblehead” giveaway for the first 2,000 fans in attendance.


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