June 18 at MCU Park
The Cyclones snagged a 2–0 victory over the hated Staten Island Yankees on Monday’s Opening Day after receiving a gift from a Staten Island reliever who couldn’t find the plate.
After seven and a half scoreless innings at MCU Park, the Yankees brought in lefty reliever James Pazos, who systematically gutted any hope the team had of winning by pitching with all the accuracy of an overambitious thrower at a carnival game. Pazos loaded the bases on two walks and a squib single before tossing four straight balls, allowing Cyclones top prospect Brandon Nimmo to score. A Cole Frenzel fly-out drove in another Cyclones run before the Yanks escaped the inning.
The Clones hurlers were dominant on the mound with starting pitcher Gabriel Ynoa throwing six shut-out innings and fanning four — while ceding only three hits. But it was reliever Darwin Frias who was credited with the opening day win after pitching two scoreless innings as the Staten Island Yankees dug their own grave. Sidearm slinger Tyler Vanderheiden closed the game with a lights-out ninth inning where three Yankees got up, and three Yankees sat down.
One game into the new season and the Cyclones are tied for first with the Hudson Valley Renegades — and, yes, they are undefeated.
Staten Island Yankees 1
June 19 at Richmond County Bank Ballpark
Stellar pitching helped the Cyclones top the hated Staten Island Yankees 4–1 on the Rock on Tuesday night — proving that Monday’s shutout victory over the New York-Penn League champions wasn’t a fluke.
Brooklyn starter and resident flamethrower Luis Mateo lived up to his fearsome reputation as he struck out nine Baby Bombers in five and two-thirds innings on the mound, giving up only one run on a Yankee solo shot in the third — the first of just two Yankees hits in their home opener.
The Yankees put up six pitchers throughout the night, but the uneven roster only helped the Cyclones round the bases — with hurler Gabriel Encinas starting a second inning Cyclones surge by plunking Brooklyn catcher Kevin Plawecki at the top of the frame. Plawecki notched the first run of the night a short time later after scoring on a fielding error.
—with Noah Garabedian
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 Thursday, June 21 as they close out their four game series against the reviled Staten Island Yankees.