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Brooklyn Cyclones Game 8-29-06

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Stoner Strong, Cyclones GM Keeps Hair


By Patrick Hickey Jr

Stoner gave up one run in 6 innings

BROOKLYN, NY- Sometimes luck will play a bigger part in a game than great pitching or clutch pitching ever can.


Trying to reclaim their hold on the wild card in the NY-Penn League, the Brooklyn Cyclones continued to get great pitching from their staff and despite only four hits and three errors, managed to score three runs in the eighth inning, fueling a 3-2 win over the Staten Island Yankees.


“I told you before, these guys have never quit,” said Cyclones manager George Greer. “They keep trying hard. We might not be the best hitting team, but we’ve proven that we can put some hits together when we have to.”


Looking to shrug off a tough 2-0 loss last night, where the Mets Single-A Affiliate got 6.2 innings of no-hit ball from Nelson Portillo, Brooklyn was able to give Tobi Stoner [5-2, 2.55 ERA] a chance to bring the team within five games of first place with only nine games remaining.


Despite getting himself into a bases-loaded jam in the second, Stoner kept the Yankees scoreless through five innings of work before giving up a RBI single from Mitch Hilligoss, scoring Wilkens De La Rosa, who reached on a single after Cyclones third baseman Ivan Naccarata flubbed a pop fly in foul territory allowing him to reach base, giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the sixth.


“I didn’t have my best stuff tonight,” said Stoner. “The defense pulled through for me and I was able to get myself out of a few jams. We just really keyed off of their mistakes tonight.”


“He pitched really well for us today,” said Greer. “He deserved to win the game.”


Staten Island starter Tim Norton was also on top of his game, hurling six scoreless innings of his own, striking out seven Cyclones over seven shutout innings.


After the game remained 1-0 through the seventh, the Yankees would add an insurance run in the eighth, as Hilligoss would again become a factor in the game, scoring a run in the eighth on a Wilmer Pino double that would give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.


Mark Melancon would pitch the eighth inning for the Yankees, giving up an unearned run after Luis Rivera reached on an error by shortstop Chris Kunda, scoring Elvis Cruz, who pinch ran for Danny Cummins after he walked to start the inning, bringing the Staten Island lead to one run.


Nick Peterson would then come out of the pen for the Yankees with the Cyclones threatening and would give up a walk to Jesus Gamero with the bases loaded, tying the game at 2-2. Peterson continued to unravel in the eighth, throwing a wild pitch that would score Dustin Martin, giving them a 3-2 lead.


German Marte would then redeem himself after a shaky eighth and get the Yankees to go down silently, giving the Cyclones a 3-2 win, despite only four hits and three errors.


Now five games back of the Yankees for first place in the McNamara Division and one game back of Oneonta for the wild card, the Cyclones at this point in the season, even after tonight’s much needed win, seem to be a team that will go as far as their offense will take them.


Unfortunately, considering the fact that they have failed to score more than six runs in any of the past 15 games, it’s a safe assumption to say that Brooklyn may not have the firepower needed to make the playoffs. Greer understands how close the Cyclones are to not making the playoffs, but feels his team is up to the challenge.


“We’re in a pennant race,” said Greer. “We need to win every game.”


Also happy about tonight’s victory was Cyclones general manager Steve Cohen, who would have had to shave his head bald if the Mets Single-A Affiliate was unable to come up with a win tonight. After the three-run eighth, Cohen was seen carrying the teams unofficial good luck charm, “Clucky, the rally chicken,” all over the stands and was seen with it after the game.


“It’s all thanks to Clucky,” said Cohen.


The team will now head on the road for a three-game series with the Tri-City Valley Cats before coming home for the final six games of the season, desperately trying to make a late playoff push.

All Photographs for this article were taken by Conroy Walker

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