Clones swing for the fences in big win over Lake Monsters

Clones bring the lumber in 5–2 victory over Ironbirds

Cyclones 2
Vermont Lake Monsters 0

Aug. 20 at Centennial Field

The Clones wrapped up a six-day road trip with a bang by topping the Vermont Lake Monsters in the rubber match of a three-game series.

The Clones took a four-run lead in the second frame, with right fielder Eudy Pina cracking a homer to center with second baseman Juan Carlos Gamboa and catcher Nelfi Zapata on base. Coney center fielder Brandon Nimmo followed that up by chopping a grounder past the shortstop for a single — then stealing second. Brooklyn shortstop Phillip Evans — who went three-for-four on the night — then drove Nimmo in by slapping a ground ball up the middle. It was enough for Vermont skipper Rich Magnante to go to the bullpen and switch starter Nolan Sanburn for reliever Tyler Vail.

Vail ended the inning and held the Mini-Mets scoreless for four innings. But in the sixth, the righty walked Nimmo, then allowed Evans to drive the center fielder in with a liner to right field.

The Lake Monsters managed to come up with a run in the bottom of the seventh after an error by Evans allowed third baseman Jacob Tanis to reach base. Tanis then touched the plate after center fielder Brett Vertigan hit one out to center off reliever Logan Taylor — marking Taylor’s first unearned run of the season. His ERA, however, remains a flawless 0.00.

But the Clones weren’t done yet. In a show of late-inning strength, left fielder Stefan Sabol hit a dinger in the ninth that put Brooklyn ahead by five. The Lake Monsters cut the lead to four after designated hitter Christopher Bostick reached base on another throwing error by Evans, then took second and third on wild pitches by closer Tyler Vanderheiden. A single by right fielder John Wooten with two away sent Bostick home, but it was too little, too late for the Lake Monsters.

The Cyclones trail the first-place Hudson Valley Renegades by three games in the McNamara division of the NY–Penn League. They lead the Wild Card race by five games ahead of the Batavia Muckdogs.

The Cyclones are home again at MCU Park [1904 Surf Ave. at W. 17th Street in Coney Island, (718) 449–8497, www.brooklyncyclones.com] tonight at 7 pm as they take on the Tri-City ValleyCats.

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