2007-09-14 / Sports

Cyclones Clear Fog Hurdle to Advance to Title Game

By Elio Velez

The Brooklyn Cyclones not only took on the Staten Island Yankees in Game 2 of the New York-Penn League semifinals, but the Coney Island based team had to fight off the fog that had totally enveloped Keyspan Park.

Despite the thick fog that twice delayed the game for a total of three hours, the Cyclones got five quality shutout innings from top starting pitcher Dylan Owen as they advanced to the New York-Penn League Championship with a 3-1 victory over Staten Island last Monday night.

Brooklyn will have to take on a tough opponent in the Auburn Doubledays, the N.Y.-Penn League Pinckney Division champions, who defeated Oneonta two out of three games in the other playoff semifinal. Game 1 of the best of three series took place in Auburn at presstime, with the second and if necessary, third game held in Brooklyn on Friday, September 14 at 7 p.m. and on Saturday, September 15 at 6 p.m.

The Cyclones and Yankees had fought neck-and-neck in the last few weeks of the season. It wasn't until the second to last game of the regular season that Brooklyn clinched the Mc- Namara Division title over their borough rivals.

In Game 1 of the divisional series in Staten Island, Brooklyn got four runs in the ninth inning to win 8-4, and the winning momentum carried over to Game 2.

Owen, who established himself as the most consistent starter this year with a 9-1 record and a 1.40 ERA, finally got on the mound after the first two-hour delay and held off the highpowered Yankee offense. The Cyclones got on the scoreboard in the third inning, when Raul Reyes stroked an RBI double which scored Jacob Eigsti, and Ezekiel Carrera recorded an RBI single to make it 2-0.

Before the top of the sixth inning began, a second fog delay halted play for 50 minutes. When the game resumed, Owen had departed, but Cyclones relief pitchers Brant Rustich, Edgar Ramirez and Eddy Kunz came out of the bullpen to shut the door on the Yankees.

In his second stint as Cyclones manager, Edgar Alfonzo has led his squad to the N.Y Penn-League championship series.

Brooklyn's first campaign as a franchise in 2001 also had Alfonzo at the helm and he guided the team a share of the championship with the Williamsport Crosscutters.

The September 11, 2001 attacks canceled the Penn-League championship series and both teams were declared co-winners.

"It was outstanding the way the kids fought all night," Alfonzo said. "I'm very impressed."

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