It took 5 hours and 39 minutes for the Brooklyn Cyclones & Staten Island Yankees to play the home opener, giving Brooklyn heir second longest game in team history. Sadly, the Cyclones dropped to 0-2 in games that go 20 or more innings, as they wasted countless opportunities and struck out too many times.
With Gabriel Llanes on the mound for Brooklyn, Staten Island got two runners on with 2 outs in the Top of the 1st but failed to score.
The Cyclones struck in the Bottom of the 1st when Enmanuel Zabala led off the season with a home run to left field off Yankees starter Adonis Rosa.
It took a while for the Yankees to get on the board. Staten Island got a runner to 3rd in the Top of the 2nd, but Llanes struck out Danienger Perez to end the frame. In the Top of the 3rd, Chris Godinez hit a 1-out single to right and stole 2nd. Returning Yankee Luis Torrens lined into an 8-4 double play, as Zabala caught a line out and doubled Godinez off 2nd. They would break through in the Top of the 4th, as Kane Sweeny led off with an infield single. Drew Bridges lined out to right, but a double by Mandy Alvarez scored Sweeney to tie it at one. Dalton Blaser singled to right, moving Alvarez to 3rd and a sac fly by Kendall Coleman scored Alvarez and moved Blaser to 2nd. Llanes got out of the jam by getting Perez to line out.
The Cyclones quickly bounced back in the Bottom of the 4th. Brandon Brosher hit a 2-out double to right and a triple by Darryl Knight scored him. With a runner on and a chance to take the lead, Arnaldo Berrios whiffed at air to end the inning. That would be the story of the night, as the Cyclones saw many chances to go ahead, but failed.
After a scoreless 5th inning, Taylor Henry came in to relieve Llanes in the 6th. The 6th inning saw neither team score and in the Bottom of the 7th, David Sosebee came in for Yankee starter Adonis Rosa. Knight hit a 1-out single and went to 2nd on a wild pitch by Sosebee. Berrios grounded out, moving Knight to 3rd. He would be left there, as Yeffry De Aza struck out to end the inning.
Nicco Blank came in to pitch the Top of the 8th and struck out all 3 batters he faced.
The Cyclones had a chance to put the game in the bag in the Bottom of the 8th. Hengelbert Rojas led off with a walk. Santo Marte bunted him to 2nd and a groundout by Zabala moved him 90 feet away. Dale Burdick and Ali Sanchez drew walks to load the bases, leading to new Yankees manager Dave Bialas to summon in Justin Kamplain. In typical fashion of the night, the runners would be left stranded, as Brosher went down swinging.
Blank stayed in for the Top of the 9th. After getting Alvarez to fly out, he gave up a single to Blaser and a walk to Coleman. He got out of the game by striking out Perez and getting Ricardo Ferreira to ground out.
Brooklyn did not manage to get a baserunner in the Bottom of the 9th, sending the game to extra innings, causing both teams to empty their bullpens. Joseph Zanghi took over for Blank in the Top of the 10th and pitched a scoreless inning. The Cyclones went down in order in the Bottom of the 10th. Zanghi pitched a scoreless Top of the 11th as well. Michael Schaub, who pitched for Staten Island last season, tossed a perfect Bottom of the 11th. Gabriel Feliz tossed a scoreless Top of the 12th for Brooklyn, recording 2 strikeouts. Schaub held Brooklyn to a scoreless 12th as well. Feliz gave up a hit in Top of the 13th, but the runner stayed at 1st base. The Cyclones were scoreless in the Bottom of the 13th as well.
Alejandro Castro came in to pitch the Top of the 14th, and immediately gave up a single to Perez. Ferreira bunted the ball and an error by Castro sent Perez to 2nd & Ferreira to 1st. Chris Godinez bunted as well, something the Cyclones didn’t seem to do all night, making it 2nd & 3rd. Keith Skinner, who came in for Torrens earlier, and Sweeney both struck out to end the inning. After a 14th inning stretch, the Cyclones wasted a Brosher single in the Bottom of the inning.
Adrian Almeida pitched the Top of the 15th for Brooklyn. 2 walks and an error loaded the bases with 1 out, but Almeida struck out Perez & Ferreira to get out of it.
Eduardo Rivera took the hill for the Yankees in the Bottom of the 15th. He gave up a 2-out single to Rojas, but he was left there, as was the case all night.
Dillon Becker came in to pitch the Top of the 16th and retired the side. The Cyclones were scoreless in the Bottom of the inning. Staten Island did nothing in the Top of the 17th, but the Cyclones had a chance, as Knight led off with a walk, stole 2nd & went to 3rd on a ground out. Cyclones Manager Tom Gamoba elected to leave in Yeffrey De Aza, who was 0-for-6 at the time, as opposed to using a pinch hitter. Yeffrey De Aza proved to be as useless as Mets outfielder Alejandro De Aza by striking out for the 4th time that night, giving him a golden sombrero on the night. Rojas hit the ball which hit off 1B Drew Bridges, who misplayed it, but because Rojas did not run it out, Bridges picked it up and it was scored a 3U, wasting another opportunity for the team to win.
As the scorecards turned to the Top of the 18th, Gamboa summoned in infielder Franklin Correa to pitch. After getting Perez to ground out, Ferreira singled to center and went to 2nd when Zabala misplayed the ball. Correa struck out Godinez for the 2nd out. With Skinner up, Ferreira stole 3rd, but Correa got Skinner to ground out.
The Yankees were not fully out of pitchers, as they allowed guys to pitch more than 2 innings, so former infielder Claudio Custodio came in to pitch the Bottom of the 18th, getting 3 groundouts.
Correa pitched a perfect Top of the 19th, but the Cyclones wasted another chance in the Bottom of the 19th, as Ali Sanchez led off with a double, but was stranded, as Gamboa did a great impression of Rich Donnelly by not taking out his struggling men for a pinch hitter, or having any of them try to steal or bunt.
To the Top of the 20th it went. At that point, midnight had passed, the Las Vegas 51s had finished their game and the crowd of 7,011 had thinned out to a few hundred. Infielder Dionis Paulino came in to pitch and gave up 3 walks to load the bases. Ferreira hit a sac fly to score Dalton Blaser to end the tie, but Paulino got out of it.
The Cyclones went down in order in the Bottom of the 20th, giving the Cyclones a 12-4 record on Opening Day, 12-4 record in Home Openers, a 10-3 record against Season Openers vs Staten Island, and an overall 100-95 record against the Baby Bombers.
The series shifts tonight to Staten Island, as Harol Gonzalez will take the hill for the Cyclones against Yankee starter Drew Finley. 1st pitch is called for 7 PM, with the gates opening at 6 PM. The 1st 2,500 fans into RCB Ballpark will get a Yankees Magnetic Schedule.
For those making the trip via public transit, check out all the Travel Advisories I posted. Also, be advised that parking is going to be bad, so consider some form of mass transit, or an early arrival.
I would like to give a shout out to all those that stayed. Having been to the 26th inning game in 2006, I was heartbroken at how the team could not pull out a win after a long game.