ValleyCats scratch Clones

Clones lineup comes alive!

Tri-City ValleyCats 6
Cyclones 2

Aug. 15 at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium

The NY–Penn League-leading Tri-City ValleyCats shredded the Cyclones pitching staff and snuffed out a seventh inning rally to take the season’s first match up between the squads.

Brooklyn’s six-day road trip started out on the wrong foot when the ValleyCats took the lead in the fourth frame, after Coney starter Luis Cessa surrendered back-to-back-to-back singles to Troy right fielder Preston Tucker, first baseman Jesse Wierzbicki, and catcher M.P. Cokinos with one away — then gave up another single to designated hitter Jarrod McKinney to drove in two.

The ValleyCats picked up another run in the next inning, as second baseman Neiko Johnson hit a single off reliever Beck Wheeler, who then gave up an RBI double to Tucker.

The Cyclones tried to come back in the seventh, after right fielder Eudy Pina doubled and advanced to third on a single from center fielder Brandon Nimmo. A wild pitch by ValleyCats hurler Jeremiah Miners let Pina touch the plate. Nimmo scored on a ground out by first baseman Jayce Boyd and the Cyclones pulled within one. After Meiners plunked Brooklyn catcher Kevin Plawecki with one away, Tri-City skipper Stubby Clapp yanked him for set-up man Travis Bellew, who managed to end the inning without giving up any more runs.

After the stretch, Mini-Mets reliever Timothy Peterson gave up a single to shortstop Joe Sclafani and a walk to Johnson with one out. That’s when Cyclones skipper Rich Donnelly decided to replace Peterson with David Wynn. With Tucker back at the plate, Sclafani and Johnson both stole bases, and Wynn let the right fielder belt one to center to let the runners score. The Cyclones failed to muster another run, going down in order in the ninth to end the game.

The Cyclones remain two games out of first place in the McNamara division, trailing the Hudson Valley Renegades. They lead the Wild Card race by five and a half 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.