It was must win at MCU Park last night, and the Cyclones did just that by playing one of their best games of the season.
After rain delayed the start time to 6:25, the Cyclones got things rolling in the Bottom of the 1st off Yankees starter Andrew Chin. John Mora & Amed Rosario reached on back-to-back errors by SS Jose Javier. Michael Conforto grounded out, but moved both men up. Jhoan Urena grounded out, scoring Mora and moving Rosario to 3rd. Tomas Nido singled to center scoring Rosario. Pedro Perez flew out to center to end the inning, but the Cyclones were up 2-0.
Brooklyn kept the scoring going in the Bottom of the 2nd. Michael Bernal drew a 1-out walk. JC Rodriguez, in his MCU Park debut, hit a triple to left, scoring Bernal. Mora hit a sac fly to center that scored Rodriguez. Rosario grounded out to end the inning, but the Cyclones were up 4-0.
The Cyclones offense continued in the Bottom of the 3rd. Conforto led off with a single to center. Urena hit his 20th double of the season to score Conforto. Urena, who had a sore throat, was pulled from the game for Anthony Chavez. Nido walked, but Perez went down swinging. Abreu then hit his 2nd homer of the season, scoring Chavez & Nido to make it 8-0. Aside from knocking the ball out of the park, it knocked Chin out of the game for Jordan Cote. Bernal went down swinging & Rodriguez popped out to end the inning.
With plenty of run support, Alberto Baldonado coughed one up in the Top of the 4th. Billy Fleming led off with a single to right. Connor Spencer grounded out, moving Fleming to 2nd. Isaias Tejeda lined out to left. Collin Slaybaugh doubled to left, scoring Fleming. Baldonado struck out Renzo Martini to end the frame.
Baldonado threw 5 innings giving up 4 hits, 1 earned run & a walk while striking out 7 to get his 3rd win of the season. Carlos Valdez came in to pitch the Top of the 6th. Fleming led off with a single & Spencer popped out. Tejeda homered to left, scoring Fleming to make it 8-3. Slaybaugh grounded out & Martini popped out to end the inning.
Brooklyn added a few for good measure in the Bottom of the 7th. Conforto led off with a double to right. Chavez & Nido both struck out swinging. Perez doubled to left, scoring Conforto. Abreu doubled to left, scoring Perez. Yankee manager Mario Garza called on Sam Agnew-Wieland to pitch. Cyclones Manager Tom Gamboa sent Luis Arrizurieta to hit. Arrizurieta singled to center, scoring Abreu. JC Rodriguez walked, sending Arrizurieta to 2nd, but Mora popped out to end the inning.
Edioglis Villasmil & Brandon Welch each threw a shutout inning in relief, keeping the lead and sending the crowd of 8,862 home happy. Because the Tigers won 5-3, the Cyclones & Tigers are tied, which gives the Tigers the Wild Card. The Cyclones and Yankees face off in Staten Island tonight at 7pm with Casey Meisner facing Sean Carley.