Brooklyn report: The longest day

The Brooklyn Cyclones and the Oneonta Tigers played the longest game in New York-Penn League history on Thursday, a so-called getaway afternoon contest which lasted for 26 innings and stretched into the early evening hours.

The contest featured 684 pitches thrown by 15 different pitchers, seven runs (just two of which were scored before the final inning), 34 hits (but only five for extra-bases) and a total of seven errors.

The game finally ended six hours and 40 minutes after Cyclones starter Eric Brown threw the afternoon's first pitch to Oneonta's Deik Scram.

The Tigers leadoff batter went hitless in his first 11 at-bats Thursday, but played a part in finally snapping a 1-1 deadlock in the top of the 26th inning.

Scram stroked a single to right field off Mark Wright – an outfielder who had been called in to pitch the 25th inning, and did so scorelessly.

Scram's hit brought home two runs, the first action on the scoreboard since Oneonta scored a run in the fourth inning, and the Tigers added three more to take a 6-1 advantage which the Cyclones (mercifully, some might say) could not come back from.

The marathon game surpassed a 22-inning game played last season between the Batavia Muckdogs and the Auburn Doubledays, which started on July 7 and was suspended after 20 innings before it was completed on Aug. 14.

Brooklyn's long afternoon at KeySpan Park – a 12 p.m. start which, in theory, was to allow day camp children the opportunity to see most of the game – fell shy of breaking the minor league record. That remains a 33-inning Pawtucket Red Sox victory over the Rochester Red Wings in 1981.

Interestingly, Brooklyn manager George Greer watched most of the contest from the clubhouse, having been ejected in the first inning for arguing a force play at second base. Cyclones hitting coach Scott Hunter assumed the managerial duties for the remaining 25 innings of the afternoon.

Brown – who allowed a run on five hits over seven innings, walking one and striking out one in his second start for Brooklyn this year – is no stranger to particularly long games.

The 22-year-old right-hander had started one marathon performance earlier this season with the Hagerstown Suns of the South Atlantic League, pitching 2 2/3 innings of an April 26 contest that eventually finished in an 8-7 loss to the Lakewood BlueClaws, with seven hours and 47 minutes of game play having elapsed from start to finish.

As an added bonus, both teams had to leave for road trips to upstate New York following the extra-long contest. Brooklyn left the city to open a three-game weekend series with the Jamestown Jammers, while Oneonta returned home to play the State College Spikes.

Haines suspended: Major League Baseball announced Thursday that Cyclones pitcher Timothy Haines was suspended for 50 games Thursday for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

Haines was 2-0 with a 3.09 and three saves for the Cyclones. He last pitched on July 16 at Vermont, recording a save.

Brooklyn leaderboard, offense: Jonathan Schemmel's .287 batting average ranks him 10th in the system … As a team, the Cyclones have batted just .207, worst among the seven Mets farm clubs.

Brooklyn leaderboard, pitching: Cyclones right-hander Jake Ruckle started the year with St. Lucie and has compiled a 1.90 ERA, which is second only to Binghamton's Mike Devaney (1.77) in the organization … Nelson Portillo's 3.63 mark is 10th in the system … The Cyclones have compiled a 3.22 staff ERA, second only to St. Lucie's 3.19.

ON THE RISE

Sidearming right-hander Joe Smith is holding up nicely to his projection as a future closer type.

The third-round pick out of Wright State (Ohio) University has gone a perfect 7-for-7 in save opportunities for Brooklyn, allowing three hits, no walks and striking out 15 in 9 1/3 innings. Smith has yet to allow a run as a professional.

TOUGH TIMES

Left-hander Grady Hinchman has had a spotty July to date, allowing more than two walks or hits per inning (nine walks and 12 hits in 10 1/3 frames) and recording a 6.97 ERA.

Despite those ugly numbers, the 24-year-old is 2-0 this season and pitched two scoreless innings in the 26-inning game against Oneonta on Thursday.


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