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Brooklyn Cyclones vs. State College Spikes

Brooklyn sweeps State College

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Cyclones 7
Spikes 4

July 16 at Lubrano Park

The Pride of Coney Island rattled the State College Spikes with a runaway fifth inning — made possible by a pair of passed balls — sweeping a three-game series at Lubrano Park and wrapping up a six-game road trip where the Clones went 4–2.

Brooklyn put up its first run in the second frame, with a grounder off the bat of third baseman Dimas Ponce that drove in left fielder Stefan Sabol. But the Spikes tied the game in the third with an RBI single from backup catcher Dave Valesente, who replaced starter Ryan Hornback in the second.

The Mini-Mets took the lead again in the top of the fourth with a Eudy Pina double to center that drove in first baseman Jayce Boyd. The Spikes battled back in the bottom half of the frame, driving in one run on a ground-out by second baseman Yhonathan Barrios and another on an RBI double by left fielder Alex Fuselier.

But the Clones re-captured the lead at the top of the fifth, when center fielder Brandon Nimmo got on base with a single and advanced to second after Valesente let a pitch by Spikes reliever Thomas Harlan get past him. A single from Brooklyn shortstop Philip Evans moved Nimmo to third. Harlan struck out designated hitter Alexander Sanchez, but Evans managed to steal second — putting two runners in scoring position. Catcher Kevin Plawecki walked, while Stefan Sabol grounded into a force out that let Nimmo score. With Boyd at the plate, another ball got by Valesente, allowing Evans to run home.

Harlan walked Boyd, and Spikes skipper Dave Turgeon yanked him for fellow southpaw Dalton Friend. The new pitcher immediately gave Ponce his second RBI of the night — and his fifth in the last three games A fly out by second baseman Richie Rodriguez ended the inning, but the damage was done. A fielding error at the hot corner let Dimas Ponce score another run in the ninth, sealing the win.

The Cyclones are home again at MCU Park [1904 Surf Ave. at W. 17th Street in Coney Island, (718) 449–8497, www.brooklyncyclones.com] tonight at 7 pm as they take on the Hudson Valley Renegades.

Updated 5:34 pm, July 9, 2018
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