The Cyclones ended the week with a thin lead over the nefarious (and defending champion) Staten Island Yankees, but the Clones did lock up a playoff berth — and a Yankees-Cyclones first-round battle appeared likely as we went to press.
Sept. 1, at Keyspan Park
After falling behind 2–0, the Cyclones fought back, scoring single runs, thanks to a Micah Schilling homer in the fourth and a Jake Eigsti double in the fifth. But the Baby Bombers broke open the game, scoring single runs in the sixth and seventh off inconsistent reliever Steve “Impeach” Cheney, who took the loss. Schilling remains third in the league in on-base percentage.
Sept. 2, at Staten Island, Game 1
Starter Michael Antonini was masterful over his 4-1/3 innings, but reliever Brant Rustich got the “W” with 1-2/3 innings of shutout pitching. The Clones scored first on a bases-loaded passed ball, and added runs on a Matthew Bouchard double in the sixth and a Lucas Duda double in the seventh. Duda is fourth in the league in two-baggers.
Sept. 2, at Staten Island, Game 2
The Yanks treated starter Nick Waechter like a batting practice pitcher, scoring runs in the first three innings and two more in the fifth. The only bright spots for the Cyclones were the 2-for-3 leadoff hitting of Ezequiel Carrera and the two hits by Matthew Bouchard.
Sept. 3, at Keyspan Park
Cyclone starter Nick Carr was virtually unhittable, scattering four hits over his seven innings of work and raising his record to 5–2 on the year. The key inning was the fourth, when the Cyclones put up three runs, thanks to singles by J.R. Voyles, Matthew Bouchard and Raul Reyes, and a double by newcomer Cesar Cordido, who later added a SAC fly in the sixth and a single in the eighth.
Sept. 4, at Staten Island
The Yanks cut the Cyclone lead to 1-1/2 games with a come-from-behind win. After the Baby Bombers jumped ahead 3–0 off starter Tim Stronach, the Cyclones stormed back, scoring two in the fifth on a Jason Jacobs double, and two in the eighth on singles by Ezequiel Carrera and Micah Schilling. But Cyclones reliever Brant Rustich gave up an eighth inning solo shot to tie the score, and Eddie Kunz gave up the game winner.
Sept. 5, at Keyspan Park
Matt Bouchard hit a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth, but Brooklyn starter Dylan Owen was just as much the star of the game. Owen pitched seven shutout innings, striking out 11 Spinners and giving up just three hits.