Tuesday, Sept. 8 at Keyspan Park
The Cyclones were punchless for virtually all of tonight’s opener of their best-of-three playoff series against the league-leading Mahoning Valley Scrappers — and now must win two straight on the road to advance to the championship series.
Before an announced crowd of just 2,649 (though there were about 1,000 fewer on hand), the Cyclones managed just four hits, including a solo homer by Nicholas Santomauro, and threw the ball around like minor leaguers.
The first costly error came in the third, when a leadoff double was followed by a bunt (yes, a third-inning bunt) that all-star catcher Dock Doyle threw into right for a run.
Fortunately, starter Mark Cohoon, who pitched well overall, got out without any more damage, though he did give up a solo homer in the next inning.
Misplays in the seventh led to another Scrapper run. First, Luis Rivera tried to make an ill-advised diving catch in right field, leading to a double.
Then, first-baseman Sam Honeck mishandled a bunt, putting runners on the corner with no outs. An infield hit brought in a run.
The Cyclones’ best chance came in the sixth. Jordany Valdespin dragged a nifty bunt to get on. A single later put him at third for hot hitter Luis Rivera, but the outfielder struck out on a high, outside ball.