Clones crush hated Staten Island Yankees

Clones in a Jam

Cyclones 5
Staten Island Yankees 1

Aug. 31 at MCU Park

Big bats pushed the Clones past the hated Staten Island Yankees — letting Brooklyn’s boys of summer maintain their narrow lead in the wild card race.

The Yanks put up their lone run in the second, after third baseman Matthew Duran hit a one-out ground-ball single off of Clones ace Hansel Robles — the NY-Penn League ERA leader. Robles then plunked right fielder Exicardo Cayones, and a fielding error by Brooklyn second baseman Jeff Reynolds allowed Staten Island’s Jose Rosario to load the bases. Robles then walked left fielder Taylor Dugas, sending Duran home.

But Robles recovered his control and blanked the Yanks the next two innings, giving up just one more hit and fanning two before Cyclones skipper Rich Donnelly replaced him with Timothy Petersonin the sixth.

The Clones came back in the third after left fielder Jorge Rivero hit a frozen rope to right for a double. Baby Bombers starter Derek Varnadore then pitched himself into a jam by walking right fielder Maikis De La Cruz, and plunking center fielder Brandon Nimmo with one away to load the bases. A sac fly by Ponce let Rivero cross the plate, evening the score.

Brooklyn catcher Kevin Plawecki went deep with a solo shot in the fourth to give the Mini-Mets the lead. In the fifth, Varnadore plunked De La Cruz and surrendered an RBI triple to Nimmo, letting the Clones tack another run on the board. Yanks skipper Justin Pope went to the bullpen for reliever Charles Haslup, who immediately gave up a single to Ponce to send Nimmo home and leave the Cyclones up 4–1.

In the top of the sixth, Sanchez crushed a one-run dinger to left off of Staten Island southpaw Pedro Feliciano for Coney’s final run of the game. The Yanks bullpen managed to silence Brooklyn’s bats the last three innings of the game, but Clones set-up man David Wynn and closer Beck Wheeler kept the team’s archenemies from putting up another run.

The Cyclones are now five games behind the Hudson Valley Renegades in the race for the McNamara Division crown with as many games remaining in the regular season. They remain just one game ahead of the surging Batavia Muckdogs — who have won their last seven games and are only one game behind the Pnckney division-leading Auburn Doubledays.

The Cyclones are home again at MCU Park [1904 Surf Ave. at W. 17th Street in Coney Island, (718) 449–8497, www.brooklyncyclones.com] tomorrow at 5 pm as they take on the hated Staten Island Yankees.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.