Comeback Cyclones Keep Championship Hopes Alive
Down 1-0 in their best of three divisional playoff series on Wednesday night, Brooklyn found themselves twice facing the brink of exhaustion and elimination. But they managed to pull themselves through.
Down 8-7 in the ninth inning to Jamestown, the Cyclones scratched a run off a Juan Centeno sacrifice fly. The Cyclones won on unusual circumstances on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 12th as ZeErika McQueen scored from third to give Brooklyn a 9-8 win at an energetic MCU Park.
The New York Penn League McNamara Division champion Cyclones got enough energy after arriving in Brooklyn at 9 a.m. Wednesday morning to force a deciding Game 3 at presstime. Brooklyn endured an 8 hour bus drive from Jamestown, N.Y. where they didn’t fare so well in Game 1. Brooklyn rallied from a five run deficit and an hour and half rain delay, but fell short in their comeback to lose 7-6 to the wild card champion Jammers.
The usually reliable pitcher Johan Figuereo blew a 6-3 Brooklyn lead in the top of the eighth inning as Jamestown stormed back to take a 7-6 lead. J.B. Brown singled in Darrell Ceciliani to tie the game at 7-7 in the bottom half. After Jamestown scored a run off reliever Hamilton Bennett in the top of the ninth, Centeno, who went 3 for 5, drove in Joe Bonfe to tie the game.
“They didn’t quit. They have been that way all year long. They fought. Some guys struggled...,” an exhausted, yet pleased, Cyclones manager Wally Backman said. “The fight the offense show. And the way Fraser came in proved what type of pitcher he is.”
Fraser, who has 14 saves this season, embodied the Cyclones fight. The 6-4, 220-pound right hand reliever came in the ninth inning to strike out five key batters in three innings of relief.
He wasn’t available for Thursday’s night game. But he might be raring to go on Saturday on the road if the Cyclones defeated Jamestown.
Brooklyn could take on the winner of Tri-City or Batavia on the road Saturday night in Game 1 of the N.Y. Penn League championship series. The Cyclones will host a second and possibly deciding third game on Sunday and Monday nights respectively.
“That win was huge. We had to come out and play our butts off. We all played hard tonight in getting win,” Ceciliani said. “You got to bring it. It’s a short three game series. You got to give it 120 percent. It’s not fatigue or anything at this point.”