Tri-City ValleyCats 4
Aug. 16 at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium
Cyclones reliever Matthew Koch squandered a hard-fought one-run lead after a tight five-inning pitching duel, letting the Tri-City ValleyCats defeat Brooklyn’s boys of summer for the second game in a row.
Coney starting pitcher Matthew Bowman sent the top-ranked boys from Troy down in order the first three innings of the game, and held them scoreless in the fourth despite surrendering a walk and a single. ValleyCats hurler Lance Day kept the Clones off the board for four frames, with two 1-2-3 outings. But in the top of the fifth, Day gave up a double to designated hitter Jeff Glenn, then a single to third baseman Dimas Ponce that sent Glenn home.
In the bottom half of the frame, Coney skipper Rich Donnelly called in Koch — but it was a decision he would soon regret. Koch gave up a single to ValleyCats designated hitter M.P. Cokinos, then a double to third baseman Jean Batista. That set up a three-run dinger by ValleyCats center fielder Emilio King that gave the upstate team a lead they would hold onto the rest of the game.
The Mini-Mets tried to come back in the sixth with an RBI single off the bat of catcher Kevin Plawecki, but Tri-City skipper Stubby Clapp yanked Day off the rubber for Euris Quezada, who ended the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Koch pitched himself into a jam after he walked catcher Tyler Heineman, plunked Cokinos, and surrendered a single to third baseman Jean Batista with none away — prompting Donnelly to finally pull the reliever for Logan Taylor. Left fielder Dan Gulbransen hit a sac fly to let Heineman score and pad the ValleyCats lead, but Taylor silenced the home team’s bats the rest of the game, preserving his flawless 0.00 ERA.
The Cyclones are home again at MCU Park [1904 Surf Ave. at W. 17th Street in Coney Island, (718) 449–8497, www.brooklyncyclones.com] on Aug. 21 at 7 pm as they take on the Tri-City ValleyCats.