Cyclones-‘Cats Rained Out Once Again

The remnants of Hurricane Frances are making the New York Penn League Playoff schedule a wet mess.<br> <br> On Wednesday night the Cyclones and Valley Cats game was called off in the top of the third inning with the Cyclones having a 3-1 lead. On Thursday night, the game was called off without even starting.

The game was called off at 6:30pm after a steady hour of rain. The field at Joseph L. Bruno stadium was in bad shape because of the rain that fell Wednesday and Thursday. Puddles of water formed in the outfield warning track and along the first and third base foul territory area, which was a major reason the decision to postpone the game another day was made.

The Cyclones won Game 1 of the series Monday night 2-0, however lost Game 2 of the series Tuesday night 3-2 after leading for the first seven innings of the game. The Cyclones were on their way to victory Wednesday night before the umpires called the game off after more than an hour of waiting out the rain. Corey Coles had a double and triple with two runs scored and an RBI, however those numbers all erased since it was not an official game.

Tri-City manager Greg Langbehn announced that Ronnie Martinez will start Friday's game on three days rest. Martinez was 11-2 with a 1.96 ERA in the regular season and was the starter for Game 1 of this series. Martinez threw five scoreless innings on 93 pitches while allowing six hits Monday night.

Cyclones manager Tony Tijerina said he has not made a final decision on a starter for Friday's game. Gabriel Hernandez was supposed to start Thursday's game with Orlando Rengel following, however Tijerina has several options that he will sleep on.

The first option will be to stick with the plan of Wednesday and Thursday night. Hernandez and Rengel were scheduled to pitch in relief of Mike Swindell on Wednesday night, and Tijerina decided to pitch the two pitchers Thursday since they did not enter the game on Wednesday night.

Hernandez made his Cyclones debut on September 3rd in relief of Evan MacLane. Hernandez picked up the win pitching three scoreless innings. He was 3-3 with a 1.09 ERA in 10 games for the Gulf Coast League Mets. Hernandez was on the mound in the playoff loss against the GCL Redsox allowing 7 runs over 2 innings of work.

"It wasn't my best start, however stuff like that happens" said Hernandez.

Tijerina has two other options he is pondering. He can create a rematch of the June 23 game when Brooklyn met Tri-City. Joe Williams picked up the victory pitching five shutout innings allowing just two hits, while Ronnie Martinez suffered the loss allowing four runs in four innings of work. Joe Williams, who last pitched September 2, was originally scheduled to be the fourth starter in the playoff rotation and was to open up the opening game of the NY-Penn League Championship series, if the Cyclones advanced that far, however with the extra off day caused by Thursday's rainout getting bumped up is a possibility.

The last scenario is duplicating the strategy of Langbehn and starting Evan MacLane on three days rest. MacLane faced against Martinez in Game 1 of the series and out pitched him throwing seven shutout innings on just 77 pitches.

"I didn't want to extend MacLane just in case we needed to bring him back on short rest" Tijerina said.

Tijerina is leaning toward starting Joe Williams Friday night however no official decision was announced as of Thursday night.

Nice Guys

The Valley Cats got good news Wednesday afternoon when the League Office announced a decision on the appeal of out fielder Hunter Pence's suspension would be delayed. Pence was suspended by the NY-Penn League for his role in a bench-clearing ball in the final game of the season.

Pence, the Astros second round pick in this years draft, hit 8 home runs and drove in 37 runs batted in while batting .296 this season for Tri-City.

Injury Report

Michael Devaney's status for the remaining of the playoffs is up in the air as he left Tuesday's game with a cut on his thumb that he suffered in his Game 2 start.

Championship Series Schedule Unclear

There was no official word from the New York Penn League regarding the schedule for the Championship Series. The likely scenario is that Saturday will be an off day with Game 1 of the Championship Series beginning on Sunday at Mahoning Valley, who advanced in a series sweep over the Auburn Doubledays Tuesday night. Games 2 and 3 (if needed) of the series would be played Monday and Tuesday at the home field of the winner of this series.

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