First-place Clones topple second-place Renegades at home

Cyclones topple hated Yanks in opening day win

Cyclones 7
Hudson Valley Renegades 3

July 18 at Dutchess Stadium

The division-leading Cyclones came out swinging in the second matchup of a three-game series against the second-place Hudson Valley Renegades, while Cyclones starter Rainy Lara notched his fourth win of the season.

Clones second baseman Jeff Reynolds opened the game by crushing a leadoff homer to left center — giving the Mini-Mets a lead they held onto for the rest of the game. Eudy Pina went 2–3 on the night, belting a two-run dinger in the fourth that brought home third baseman Dimas Ponce. The Renegades answered with a solo shot by second baseman Thomas Coyle, but Cyclones designated hitter Kevin Plawecki hit an RBI double in the bottom half, putting the score at 4–1.

The Baby Rays mounted a rally in the sixth, with catcher Michael Williams and third baseman Leonardo Reginatto hitting back-to-back doubles and bringing one run in. When Lara — who had fanned five batters and caught two looking earlier in the night — gave up a single to designated hitter Justin O’Conner in the bottom of the sixth, Coney skipper Rich Donnelly pulled him for reliever David Wynn. A passed ball by catcher Jeffrey Glenn let O’Conner advance to scoring position, and Wynn gave up a single to Coyle that drove O’Conner home.

But the Cyclones got out of the jam and Wynn sent the Renegades down in order in the next two innings. In the ninth, Hudson Valley reliever Dylan Floro gave up a single to Pina and walked Reynolds, bringing center fielder Brandon Nimmo — who was already on a five game hitting streak — to the plate. The top Mets prospect hit a double to left field, which, thanks to a throwing error by shortstop Ryan Dunn, sent Pina, Reynolds, and Nimmo himself home.

Clones closer Tyler Vanderheiden then tossed a 1–2–3 ninth to pick up the save and end the game.

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 Hudson Valley Renegades.