Powerful Plawecki goes deep twice against Lake Monsters

Power play! Heavy hitting helps Clones topple Ironbirds

Cyclones 2
Vermont Lake Monsters 0

Aug. 19 at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium

Solo blasts by catcher Kevin Plawecki powered Brooklyn past the Vermont Lake Monsters for a shutout victory in Burlington.

Coney starter Hansel Robles picked up his fourth win of the season by limiting the Lake Monsters to just two hits, one walk, and zero runs in six innings on the rubber. Vermont hurler Brent Powers was almost as effective his first three innings, keeping the Clones off the board while giving up just two hits and no runs. But Plawecki — who went two-for-three with two homers — opened up the fourth frame with a dinger over the left field fence that put Brooklyn up 1–0.

Robles got himself in trouble in the bottom of the fourth when he loaded the bases by letting Vermont single, plunking a batter, and giving up his only walk of the game with two away. But Lake Monsters designated hitter Sam Roberts flied out to bring the Mini-Mets up to bat again without letting a run cross the plate.

Both teams went down in order in the fifth, but in the sixth, Plawecki — a Purdue University grad who was the 35th overall pick for the Amazin’s in 2012 — crushed another homer to left, giving Brooklyn all the offense it would need.

But it wasn’t over yet as Vermont threatened again after the stretch. Brooklyn reliever Craig Hansen plunked shortstop Wilfredo Solano, then threw a wild pitch past Plawecki, who in turn committed a throwing error that let Solano advance to third. Hansen then walked Roberts, leaving runners on the corners with just one away. But the hurler managed to fan first baseman Jacob Tanis and forced left fielder Austin Booker to fly out to end the inning. Beck Wheeler replaced Hansen in the next inning and threw a perfect eighth, and closer Tyler Vanderheiden took the mound in the ninth to pick up and finished things up.

The Cyclones are still three games out of first place in the McNamara division of the NY–Penn League, trailing the Hudson Valley Renegades. However, they improved their lead in the wild card race to 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] on Aug. 21 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.