"The last five days, has sort of been a blur in how fast things happen" said Tijerina following the Cyclones 7-1 victory over the Hudson Valley Renegades Friday night, extending their winning streak to five games. "I am proud of the way these guys have taken the reigns. I had that team meeting and told them I am taking a step back, and will let them run with it, and they literally have done that."
Tijerina was not the only person to hold a meeting that day. An hour before game time Dante Brinkley held a players only meeting. He insists it was nothing more than evaluating themselves at the end of the season, however clearly the team has responded.
"It was just an end of year thing" said Brinkley. "It was nothing special but if it worked like that them maybe we need to have another one" Brinkley said smiling.
Friday night, new and old combined for the Cyclones victory. The old were Derran Watts and Dante Brinkley with each having three hits, and combined to go 6-8 with 4 runs scored and 3 RBI's. In his last 11 games, Watts is hitting13-31 (.419), and has 11 hits in his last 20 at bats.
The new were Gabriel Hernandez and Orlando Rengel, who joined the club this week. Hernandez followed Evan MacLane, who pitched just two innings in a tune-up for the playoffs. Hernandez showed his blazing fastball, throwing it between 91 and 93 mph, and mixed in his changeup and curveball to further baffle the Renegades. Hernandez picked up the victory pitching three scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out six. Rengel followed Hernandez and pitched three innings allowing just a home run while striking out four.
"It was just a tremendous outing from Hernandez" said Tijerina. "The outing was just testing water to see how he would react in a close game and pitching in front of this type of crowd for the first time ever. It gives me confidence now in using him in the playoffs, if we need a long reliever."
"I was nervous at first but I just got better and better" said Hernandez. The crowd really motivated me a lot, and that helped."
Hernandez appears to have finished a successful debut as a professional pitching in the Gulf Coast League (R) and now with the Cyclones.
"I think it went pretty good. Overall I am pleased."
MacLane pitched two scoreless innings striking out two in the process while Celso Rondon struck out two hitters as well pitching the ninth.
"They told me today I deserve to start the first game, and tonight would just be a short outing to get ready for Monday" said MacLane.
Before the game Tijerina announced that the rotation for the playoff series against Tri-City will feature Evan MacLane(5-3 3.16), Michael Devaney (5-0 1.95), and Mike Swindell (4-1 2.69), pitching Game 3 if needed.
Game 1 of the three game series will be played at KeySpan Park, with first pitch being at 7:00pm.
Get Your Tickets
Tickets are still available for Monday's game. To purchase tickets, you can call 718-507 TIXX, visit www.brooklyncyclones.com, or stop by the KeySpan Park Ticket Office. You may also purchase tickets for Games B and C, which could be held if the Cyclones advance to the NY-Penn League Championship Series. In the event that games are not played, fans will be able to receive a refund, or credit their 2005 account. There is a non-refundable two dollar service charge for orders placed by phone or internet.
On Top Once Again
The Cyclones drew 294,229 fans this season for an average of 7,743 per game. The Cyclones led the league in attendance for the fourth straight season.
Wild Card Yet To Be Determined
The Wild Card winner will be decided on the final day of play, which is Saturday. Mahoning Valley is the current leader with a 41-34 record. New Jersey is 40-34 ½ game behind, while Hudson Valley went from first to third, with their 38-33 record. If Mahoning Valley wins Saturday they win the Wild Card. If Mahoning Valley losses and New Jersey wins, then New Jersey gets the nod. Hudson Valley can still advance by winning and having both New Jersey and Mahoning Valley lost. If all three teams win or all three lose, then Mahoning Valley will advance.
New and Old Contribute to Victory
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