Cardinals Soar Past Cyclones

BROOKLYN- An eight run sixth inning by the New Jersey Cardinals guided the way to a 13-7 victory, handing the Cyclones their third straight loss and cutting their lead in the McNamara Division to just 1.5 games over Hudson Valley.

The Cyclones trailed 5-1 before beginning a rally in their half of the fifth inning. The Cyclones got three runs on two hits in the fifth with RBI's from Dante Brinkley, Jim Burt, and Grant Psomas, however could not maintain the momentum. Evan MacLane had his worst outing as a Cyclone gave up eight runs, seven earned, and nine hits in his five innings of work. MacLane gave up a two run home run to Mike Ferris two batters into the sixth inning and was removed from the game a batter later after Levi Webber doubled to right field. Julio Freitas relieved MacLane, however did not have much success either. He lasted just 2/3 innings giving up three hits, four runs (three earned).

"We scored three runs to cut the lead to on e, and that sixth inning was really disappointing" Cyclones manager Tony Tijerina said. "We are going through one of those phases right now."

"I need to keep the confidence in them, and get them through this, and try to win some ballgames."

During their last 7 games the Cyclones bullpen has allowed 16 runs in 24.1 innings.

"It started during that Aberdeen series with some things going wrong with our bullpen. All the teams go through that. Hopefully it will be a short one for us, and we will overcome it quickly."

After losing two of three to the Jamestown Jammers, Tijerina felt it was time to talk to his club about capitalizing on chances given to them.

"I talked to the team after the final game in Jamestown, and told them these are the games we need to take advantage of. I told them that the season started tonight with this New Jersey series. We have mostly division games left the rest of the way, and we can't take anything for granted. Every game left will determine the fate of our season."

The Cyclones (28-19) head to New Jersey Sunday night for one game with the Cardinals (24-22) before returning back to KeySpan Park Monday for the series finale. Right hander Scott Hyde will try to be the stopper for the Cyclones and get them back to their winning ways. With Hyde on the mound Tijerina feels real comfortable that he will come through as the stopper.

"He has been real solid for us. He uses all his pitches, commands the strike zone, has a good tempo, has real good mound presence, and has confidence in himself. I think he is up to the task, and I know he wants the ball, and can't wait to hopefully put a stop to our skid. I feel real comfortable with him out there."

In four starts this year Hyde is 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA. He has allowed just 9 hits in 19.2 innings of work. Opponents are just hitting .141 against him, which is the best opponents batting average for any of the Cyclones starters. The next lowest is .224, which is what opposing hitters are batting off starter Joe Williams.

Michael Devaney will be the starter for the Cyclones Monday night at KeySpan Park. Devaney picked up his first professional victory Wednesday night in a 14-4 victory over the Jamestown Jammers. Devaney has an ERA of just 2.11 this year and has allowed only 32 hits in 38.1 innings of work, however has walked a team high 23 batters.

Tribute to the Past

In a tribute to baseball's Negro Leagues of the 1920's, 30's and 40's, the Cyclone wore replica uniforms based on the Brooklyn Royal Giants. To fit the profile of the old time players many Cyclones also grew mustaches for Saturday's game.

No More Overnights

Road life for the Brooklyn Cyclones will be getting much easier between now and the rest of the season. The Cyclones have 27 games left this season with just 11 on the road. However, those road games will be played at New Jersey, Staten Island and at Hudson Valley to end the season, which means the Cyclones will be packing up and leaving after each game to return to Brooklyn, so those hotel stays are gone.

Playoff Schedule Released

The NY-Penn League released the 2004 playoff schedule this week. The playoffs will begin on September 6, and will feature the three division winners and one wild card team, competing in two best-of-three series. The winner of the first two playoff series will advance to the League Championship Series, which is also a best-of-three series, that will begin either September 9 or 10. The team with the better overall record will host the second and third game of the League Championships. If the playoffs ended today the Cyclones would play Tri-City in the semi-final round with Auburn playing Hudson Valley, the current wildcard leader. Below is the tentative schedule for the NY-Penn League Playoffs.

September 6 GAME 1 (Semi Finals)
September 7 GAME 2 (Semi Finals)
September 8 GAME 3 (Semi Finals) OR OFF DAY

September 9 GAME 1 OR OFF DAY (League Championships)
September 10 GAME 2 OR GAME 1 (League Championships)
September 11 GAME 3 or GAME 2 (League Championships)
September 12 GAME 3 (League Championships)

* If both the Semi-Final series end in two games then September 8 will be an off day with the Championship Series beginning September 9. If one or both games go to a third and deciding game then September 9 will be the off day, with the Championship Series beginning September 10.

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