All-Stars drive Cyclones past Tri-City
Alonso, Woodmansee Plate Six as Brooklyn Breaks Out of Slump
Like an early evening thunder shower that breaks the oppressive humidity, albeit temporarily, the Brooklyn Cyclones’ previously anemic offense finally rained down on an opponent Monday night at Tri-City.
Recently named New York-Penn League All-Stars Peter Alonso and Colby Woodmansee combined for seven hits and six RBIs as the Baby Bums put up a season-high run total en route to a 14-3 demolition of the ValleyCats in front of 4,536 fans at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.
Having lost four straight games, including an 18-4 trouncing at the hands of Tri-City on Sunday, the Cyclones, owners of the second-lowest team batting average on the 14-team circuit at .213, finally broke out the lumber.
And it was no surprise that their two most consistent hitters led the charge.
Alonso, who leads Brooklyn with five homers and is tied with Woodmansee with a team-best 21 RBIs, finished 4-for-5 with a homer, double, three RBIs and three runs scored.
His fellow All-Star and the Cyclones’ ultra-dependable shortstop added three hits, three RBIs and scored twice as Brooklyn put together a 17-hit assault while enjoying its most lopsided win of this scorching hot summer.
“I’m not surprised at what I’ve done so far,” Alonso told MiLB.com after his first career four-hit game as a professional, boosting his batting average to .324 and his on-base-plus-slugging percentage to a blistering .977.
“I try to prepare myself to be the best and I demand a lot out of myself,” the Mets’ second-round pick out of the University of Florida in this past June’s MLB Draft added. “I’m out there competing every day and trying to get better and better to be the best player I can be. I haven’t really changed my approach much.”
Woodmansee, the Mets’ fifth-round pick out of Arizona State two months ago, joined Alonso and right-handed ace Harol Gonzalez in completing Brooklyn’s representation in the Aug. 19 NY-Penn All-Star Game, which will be held at Dutchess Stadium, home of the Hudson Valley Renegades.
The ballpark has been challenged by the booming power of Alonso, who has hit two of his big flies, including one of the longest ever seen in Hudson Valley, this season.
Of course, Alonso and Woodmansee had some help during Brooklyn’s long-awaited hit parade.
Catcher Ali Sanchez went 4-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored, and Gene Cone and Nick Sergakis added two hits apiece as the Cyclones climbed back to .500 at 25-25, and moved within 4 1/2 lengths of first-place Hudson Valley in the McNamara Division race.
Gabriel Llanes (3-5), Brooklyn’s Opening Day starter, benefitted from the offensive barrage, picking up his third win of the year after yielding three runs on 11 hits over 6 2/3 innings.
The Cyclones sent the right-hander to the hill with a 4-0 lead after treating Tri-City starter Austin Nicely (5-2), well, not so nicely, in the top of the first.
Woodmansee delivered a sacrifice fly in the opening frame and Alonso followed with an RBI double before scoring himself on Sanchez’s two-run single.
Brooklyn’s All-Star tandem fueled a seven-run third inning as well. Woodmansee sparked the outburst with a base hit and added a two-run double to cap it, while Alonso boomed homer No. 5 over the wall in left-center for a two-run shot and smacked a base hit following Woodmansee’s two-bagger.
Over his last 10 games, Alonso is hitting .342 with two homers and eight RBIs.
He learned he would represent the Cyclones at the late-summer classic only hours before his most productive game as a pro.
“It was extremely special when I learned I was chosen as an All-Star,” Alonso told MiLB.com after playing in just his 28th game at the Class A short-season level.
“I haven’t been here the whole time, so for them to select me, it means I’ve made an incredible impact. I’ll try to capitalize and make the most of this opportunity. Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my time here. We have a great group of guys and its fun going to the yard every day. I’m just enjoying things and playing the game I love.”
This, That and the Other Thing: Gonzalez’s selection to the All-Star team was a no brainer. He may even get to the start the game after posting a brilliant 4-1 record with a 1.77 ERA in his first nine starts. The 21-year-old Dominican currently leads the NY-Penn with 67 strikeouts and an average of 10.77 Ks per nine innings. He ranks second in the league with an 0.88 walks and hits per innings pitched average, and is fourth on the circuit in ERA … The Cyclones hope to bring their hot bats back to Coney Island as they were scheduled to open a six-game homestand Tuesday night against the visiting Vermont Lake Monsters at MCU Park … After hosting the Lake Monsters for three games, the Cyclones will welcome West Virginia for three as well before kicking off a critical three-game Verrazano Series with arch rival Staten Island at Richmond County Bank Ballpark on Aug. 17. The Yankees were just one game behind first-place Hudson Valley, and 2 1/2 in front of the Cyclones, entering Tuesday night’s action.
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