Walk off homer keeps Cyclones’ playoff chances alive

The Brooklyn Paper
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Cyclones 3
Valley Cats 2 (8 inns.)

Aug. 22 at MCU Park

A walk-off extra-inning homer provided the Cyclones with a big win — and kept the team’s slim playoff chances alive.

Clone pitchers kept the Cats at bay all night, with starter Marcos Camarena giving up all three Tri-City hits in his five innings. Camarena was solid, though Tri-City jumped ahead to a 2–0 lead.

The Cyclones tied the game in the fifth. Ismael Tijerina led off with a single, Tillman Pugh walked and T.J. Rivera singled to load the bases.

Javier Rodriguez then doubled home two runs, but the rally fizzled when Richard Lucas was called out on strikes (then ejected for arguing the call).

The Cyclone bullpen was solid, yielding no hits over the final three frames. Jack Leathersich, who had struck out 20 in his prior 8-2/3 innings, pitched two shutout innings, striking out two more, before Todd Weldon pitched a one-two-three eighth.

That set up Amauris Valdez’s heroics, sending a rocket shot to left to win the game.

The win kept the Cyclones within one-and-a-half games of Williamsport for the league’s lone wild-card berth. The Cyclones could win the McNamara Division outright — if they could close a three-and-a-half-game gap with the Yankees with just 14 to play.

The Cyclones are home again at MCU Park [1904 Surf Ave. at W. 17th Street in Coney Island, (718) 449-8497] on Friday, Aug. 26 at 7 pm. For info, visit

Updated 5:25 pm, July 9, 2018
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