The Cyclones feasted on the State College bullpen after a tense pitching duel, but Brooklyn’s relievers let the Spikes back into the game until Mini-Mets closer Tyler Vanderheiden managed to snuff out a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth.
Spikes hurler Clay Holmes limited the Clones to just one hit, two walks, and zero runs in five frames, shutting down the pride of Coney Island in order in the first three innings. After plunking a Spikes batter in the first, Cyclones ace Luis Mateo was dominant as well, pitching four three-up, three-down innings while giving up zero runs, one hit, and one walk on the way to his fourth win.
At the top of the sixth, Spikes manager Dave Turgeon switched Holmes for Emmanuel De Leon — who immediately gave up three hits in a row, allowing Clones right fielder Eudy Pina to cross the plate on an RBI double from third baseman Dimas Ponce.
De Leon opened the seventh by walking Cyclones center fielder Brandon Nimmo and a throwing error by a Spikes infielder allowed Pina to reach base once again. Turgeon yanked De Leon for reliever Josh Smith after a single by Clones second baseman Jeff Reynolds loaded the bases. Ponce hit a sac fly that drove in Pina and Nimmo, while Reynolds scored on an RBI single from shortstop Philip Evans.
In the following inning, Smith walked Brooklyn left fielder Stefan Sabol before giving up an RBI triple to Nimmo, followed by an RBI single to catcher Jeffrey Glenn. State College hurler Pat Ludwig came in from the bullpen and ended the inning.
The Spikes came back in the bottom of the ninth, after Clones reliever David Wynn walked a batter and gave up a double to third baseman D.J. Crumlich. After one run cross the plate on a sac fly and another made it home on an RBI single, Wynn walked a batter and got pulled from the game.
Coney Island Closer Tyler Vanderheiden took the mound with two on and two away, and immediately loaded the bases by giving up a single. He then walked short stop Jodaneli Carvajal, sending a runner home and bringing the winning run to the plate. But Vanderheiden fanned the batter, ending the game and pick up the save.
The Cyclones are home again at MCU Park [1904 Surf Ave. at W. 17th Street in Coney Island, (718) 449–8497, www.brooklyncyclones.com] on July 17 at 7 pm as they take on the Hudson Valley Renegades.