Hyde Prevails In ‘Biggest Game of Year'

BROOKLYN- For the first time this season the Brooklyn Cyclones woke up and saw themselves in second place, percentage points behind the Hudson Valley Renegades, in the McNamara Division. Since day 1 manager Tony Tijerina has told his team "Today is the biggest game of the year", however that slogan was true more than ever in the Cyclones 5-2 victory Monday night.

Having over-used their bullpen over the weekend, with a doubleheader on Saturday in which the first game went extra innings and reliever Edgar Alfonzo started the second game, and another extra inning game played on Sunday, the Cyclones needed a dominant and extended performance from their starting pitcher, and Scott Hyde gave them just that.

Hyde needed just 90 pitches to breeze through seven innings allowing five hits and one run while walking none. Hyde, who got no run support his previous start, allowed a first inning home run, however the Cyclones put up two runs in their bottom half of the first inning on an RBI triple by Tyler Davidson, and an RBI single by Jim Burt.

"There is no question we needed this type of start tonight" said Tijerina following the game. "It was a tremendous job by Scott, and I actually thanked him twice, a smiling Tijerina said.

"It was just down the middle" said Hyde about the pitch that led to the first inning home run. "If you do that at this level, things like that will occur."

Hyde would settle down and give up just four hits his next six innings, while striking out eight in the process.

"I wanted to go out and pitch well, and put the team in a position to win" said Hyde. "I knew this game has important implications, but I just told myself that it is just another game."

"To give up that home run, and still remain focus for the next six innings and throw shutout baseball in those innings is just outstanding" Tijerina said.

What made the start even more impressive was that Hyde pitched without his best stuff. Having no feel for his curveball, which scouts have rated it a 65 out of a scale of 80, and have called it a major league ready pitch, Hyde used what was working for him to get him threw the game.

"I mostly used my fastball and slider" said the right hander. "I mixed in the changeup but it was not as good and is a pitch I am still developing. I didn't throw a single curveball for a strike at all tonight, so I just went with what was working for me."

The Cyclones had two team meetings before the game. The first was called by manager Tony Tijerina right before batting practice.

"I told the guys these last six games are all yours. I will just sit back and enjoy the ride, and watch you guys win this division."

"I told them I didn't want this team to feel any pressure from me, the fans, the organization, or anybody else. They all believe in themselves and I told them to go out and have fun these last six games."

The second meeting was called just an hour before the game by Dante Brinkley, and surprised Tijerina.

"I was sitting in my office and heard thing very quiet and then I realized Dante was holding a team meeting of his own. I just left them alone and have no idea what was said, but it is great to see that kind of stuff from a team."

Brinkley would not go into specifics of what he said, citing it was a players only meeting and even the coaching staff did not know the theme of the meeting.

"It was just to try and evaluate the season as a whole, and make sure everyone is on the same page the final six games of the season" the off field leader of the team said.

With five games left for the Cyclones (39-30), they are now 1 game in front of Hudson Valley (37-30) for the division lead. Hudson Valley maintains a 1 game lead over Mahoning Valley (38-33) for the Wild Card spot.

Notes: RHP Gabriel Hernandez, Blake Eager and C Jesus Flores all joined the Cyclones from the Gulf Coast League (R). Travis Garcia and Orlando Rengel are also expected to join the team tomorrow from Kingsport.

Injury Update: Aaron Hathaway will return to the lineup Tuesday or Wednesday…Tijerina said there is a strong possibility Dante Brinkley will get some playing time during the Hudson Valley series.

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