Cyclones lose series to Yankees

Kurt Steinhauer shows how the bunt is done, covering all the bases in a win against the Spinners 4-3 on July 22.

Call it even.

The Cyclones started off on the right foot against the Yankees in this week’s play, trouncing them on 12-7. But the team lost steam by the end of the week, losing two against the Staten Island team in games decided by one run. Then in the fourth game of the series, they managed to rally back.

Here’s a look at all the action:

Friday, July 22

Cyclones 12-Yankees 7

Don’t let the score fool you — this game was all Cyclones.

The Yankees got five of their runs as a result of a total fielding meltdown by the center of the Cyclones infield, which made three errors in the fifth, leading to the smear of unearned runs against starter and winner Mitchell Houck (4-0, 3.24 ERA).

And, yes, the Yankees got on the board first with a two-run homer in the second, but the Cyclones put up their own five spot in the bottom of the frame, thanks to a two-RBI single by J.B. Brown and a two-RBI bloop single by Cory Vaughn.

The Cyclones added three more in the fourth on Darrell Ceciliani’s RBI double and Jeff Flagg’s triple.

Rylan Sandoval hit his seventh homer of the year, a solo shot in the sixth.

And the Cyclones got two more runs in the eighth, on a Flagg SAC fly that knocked in Ceciliani, plus a Joe Bonfe double.

Ceciliani’s 2-for-5 night upped his batting average to .384 in his quest to be the first .400 hitter in the New York-Penn League since Jack Maloof did it in 1971.

Saturday, July 24

Yankees 3-Cyclones 2

It only took one bad inning by starter Yohan Almonte (3-3, 2.68 ERA) to sink the Cyclones, whose bats fell mostly silent in this 3-2 loss to the second-place Yanks.

Almonte gave up a walk, a single, a wild pitch, a SAC fly and a homer in that disastrous third inning, blowing his own 1-0 lead, which the Cyclones had attained in the first inning on Cory Vaughn’s RBI single.

The Clones added a run in the fifth on a wild pitch.

Sunday, July 25

Yankees 8-Cyclones 7

This one was over before it really started, with the Yankees putting up five runs against usually reliable starter Chris Hilliard (5–1, 4.85 ERA) in a powerful two-out rally.

The Cyclones chipped away all night, with a Brian Harrison solo shot in the second and three more runs in the third, thanks to triples by suddenly hot J.B. Brown and league-leading hitter Darrell Ceciliani.

But the bullpen couldn’t shut down the Yankees, who got another two runs in the seventh to put this one out of reach.

A Cyclone rally in the seventh brought in three more — again, thanks to a blast by Harrison, but it was too little, too late.

Ceciliani was 3-for-3 on the night, raising his average to .390. Cory Vaughn was an uncharacteristic 0-for-5, killing more than a few rallies.

Monday, July 26

Cyclones 3-Yankees 1

The Cyclones reasserted their superiority over their cross-bay rival, the Staten Island Yankees, with some patient hitting and dominant pitching.

The ’Clones offense took off in the second with a two-out rally. Shortstop Rylan Sandoval singled in a run, after which things unraveled for Staten Island starter Shane Greene. League-leading hitter Darrell Ceciliani and Cory Vaughn then walked, bringing home Brooklyn’s second run.

And that was all lefty Angel Cuan needed, throwing six shutout innings, improving his record to 4-0 and bringing his ERA down to a miniscule 1.50.

The Yankees didn’t go easily, tagging reliever Hamilton Bennett for a run in the eighth. But with the bases loaded Brooklyn closer Ryan Fraser — who went on to pick up his sixth save of the season — struck out Francisco Arcia, shutting the door on the Yankee rally.

For insurance, the Cyclones scored again in the ninth on an RBI-single from Ceciliani.

The next Cyclones home game is Saturday night at 6 pm against the Yankees at MCU Park [1904 Surf Ave. at W. 19th Street in Coney Island, (718) 449-8497]. For info, visit www.brooklyncyclones.com.

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