Clones top IronBirds in extra innings

Brooklyn sweeps State College

Cyclones 6
Aberdeen IronBirds 3

Aug. 28 at Ripken Stadium

Crucial RBIs by Cyclones third baseman Dimas Ponce and catcher Kevin Plawecki broke a tie game in the 11th inning, leading to a mini-Mets sweep of the Aberdeen IronBirds in Maryland.

The Cyclones took the lead in the fourth frame, after IronBirds reliever Cameron Coffey replaced starter Branden Kline, who’d been effective in keeping the Clones off the board. Coffey fanned Plawecki, but first baseman Jayce Boyd went deep over the left-center field wall with a solo home run.

Brooklyn picked up another run in the fifth as right fielder Maikis De La Cruz — in his first appearance as a Cyclone — dropped a fly ball into center field for a triple, and center fielder Brandon Nimmo doubled to send De La Cruz home.

Cyclones starter Luis Cessa, meanwhile, had a no-no going on until the sixth inning. But in that fateful frame, the Mexican righty plunked Aberdeen first baseman Hector Veloz, then let left fielder Will Howard single. Center fielder Anthony Vega then whacked a liner to right for an RBI double, and designated hitter Torsten Boss hit a base-clearing triple to leave the IronBirds up 3–2.

But Coney second baseman Jeff Reynolds opened up the seventh inning with a single, and De La Cruz drew a walk. The runners advanced to scoring position on a passed ball by IronBirds catcher Sam Kimell, and a sac fly by Ponce allowed Reynolds to score.

Neither team managed to produce a run in the eighth or ninth, sending the game into extra innings. Both teams went scoreless in the 10th, but Reynolds drew another walk in the top of the 11th, while De La Cruz reached base on a throwing error by Aberdeen shortstop Joel Hutter than allowed both runners to move into scoring position. Ponce then roped one to right to drive Reynolds and De La Cruz in, and Plawecki made good contact and sent Ponce home.

Clones closer John Mincone kept the lead alive in the second half of the inning, giving up no hits and one walk.

The Cyclones narrowed the Hudson Valley Renegades lead in the McNamara division to five games, but they remain just two games ahead of the second-place Batavia Muckdogs in the wild card race with eight games left in the regular season.

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 7 pm as they take on the Hudson Valley Renegades.

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