The Cyclones were unbeatable this week — that is, until they went up against the Renegades.
Wednesday, July 28
Cyclones 7-Ironbirds 2
The Cyclone’s socked the second-place Ironbirds with 12 hits — seven of them coming from the first five guys in the powerful Clone lineup.
Darrell Ceciliani — who is trying to become the first Cyclone to hit .400 — went 2-for-5 with another triple, while Joe Bonfe, who is no slouch at .357, knocked in three runs.
The Cyclones took a 2-0 lead in the first on a Bonfe double.
Aberdeen did get two runs off starter A.J. Pinera in the fourth, but that was all the offense that the Ironbirds would muster.
The Cyclones blew the game open in the fifth with two runs, one on Jeff Flagg’s 12th double of the year and then a subsequent single by Bonfe.
Thursday, July 29
Cyclones 4-Ironbirds 2
The Ironbirds got on the board first, but the Cyclones tied the score in the third on Rylan Sandoval’s single, which plated Luis Nieves, who had tripled.
And after the Ironbirds took the lead again, the Clones tied the score in the seventh on an error.
The Cyclones finally broke it open in the ninth, with two runs. The rally started with consecutive singles by Joe Bonfe, Brian Harrison and Jeff Flagg. After a strikeout, Nieves bunted home the second run on a squeeze.
Friday, July 3
Cyclones 11-Ironbirds 3
Great pitching and a pummeling offensive machine was the secret to this win.
Actually, the key was the fifth inning, when the Cyclones put up seven runs. The big blows were triples by William Cherry and Darrell Ceciliani (his ninth), a double by Jeff Flagg (his 13th of the season) and a homer by Brian Harrison (his fifth).
Rylan Sandoval had homered to start the game, hitting his eighth.
Saturday, July 31
Cyclones 3-Yankees 1
Starter Chris Hilliard won his sixth game against only one loss, thanks to six very solid innings, though the Yankees finally touched him in the seventh — an inning that also saw fiery manager Wally Backman get booted.
The Cyclones were ahead 3-0 before that bizarre inning, thanks to a a third inning that saw a Juan Centeno leadoff double, a Ryland Sandoval single, a Darrell Ceciliani RBI double, and back-to-back SAC flies by Cory Vaughn and Jeff Flagg.
Sunday, Aug. 1
Cyclones 7-Yankees 3
The Clones swept a two-game series with the demoralized Yankees in true Cyclone fashion: with great starting pitching and a shock-and-awe offensive display.
First, the pitching: Starter Angel Cuan won his fifth game against no losses — and dropped his ERA to 1.68 — by striking out 10 Yankees in just 5-2/3 innings. Yes, he was touched for a solo homer in the fourth, but all the other runs were yielded by the bullpen.
The Cyclones got on board first, on J.B. Brown’s two-RBI single in the second. Then, the Brooks put up another two-spot in the fourth on RBI singles by William Cherry and the scorching hot Rylan Sandoval.
Two errors by the humbled Yankees helped the Cyclones score two in the seventh, though singles by Sandoval and Joe Bonfe certainly helped. They capped the scoring with a Blake Forsythe solo shot in the eighth.
Monday, Aug. 2
Renegades 3-Cyclones 2
The Cyclones wasted enough chances to win two games, thanks to some bad base-running and a costly error, ending the win streak at six.
The Clones got on the board first, with a run in the third on Cody Holliday’s triple.
But after that, the Renegades combined great pitching and timely hitting into a crisp win.
The pride of Hudson Valley scored two in the sixth on a line-drive, just-over-the-fence homer, then added a run in the sixth, thanks to Holliday’s two-base throwing error.
The Cyclones loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but James Schroeder got doubled-off second on Ryland Sandoval’s popup.
And Brian Harrison’s pinch-hit double in the ninth put runners on second and third with one out, but Holliday grounded out and Sandoval struck out to end the game.
Tuesday, Aug. 3
Renegades 9-Cyclones 1
The Cyclones ran into a hot pitcher who cooled their league-leading bats with a five-inning two-hit performance.
Worse, Darrell Ceciliani went 0-for-4, dropping his league-leading average to .379.