Cyclones take two of three from the Lake Monsters

Gavin Cecchini turned his season around and has extended his hitting streak to 16 games. Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Gavin Cecchini turned his season around and has extended his hitting streak to 16 games. Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Cyclones.

The Brooklyn Cyclones are having some trouble getting and staying over .500 this season, but they just won’t go away as they won two of three games against the Vermont Lake Monsters and remain just one game out of first place in the McNamara division.

FRIDAY (6-4 victory over the Lake Monsters)

James Roche helped to power the Cyclones to a 6-4 victory over Vermont in Coney Island on Friday as he went 2-for-4 with a game tying home run.

The Cyclones were down 1-0 in the second inning when Roche cracked a shot to left field that just managed to stay fair to tie the game at 1-1. The Cyclones jumped ahead in the third inning when L.J. Mazzilli drove in a run on a bases loaded walk followed by a Jared King sac fly and Roche RBI-single to make it 4-1. It was 4-2 in the fifth when Patrick Biondi led off the inning with a walk and scored on a wild pitch. Vermont scored two more in the sixth, but the Cyclones added an insurance run in the eighth thanks to a pair of errors and a Biondi sac fly.

John Gant started for Brooklyn and was strong through his first five innings, but only barely escaped the sixth with the lead after he allowed two runs on three hits including a double and a walk. Cristian Chivilli came on in relief and tossed a scoreless seventh before Johnny Magliozzi pitched two perfect innings for the save.

SATURDAY (1-0 loss to the Lake Monsters)

The Cyclones got a great pitching performance from starter Miller Diaz and shortstop Gavin Cecchini picked up four hits, but it wasn’t enough as they were shutout 1-0 Saturday night.

Diaz allowed one run and struck out seven in six innings. He kept the Monsters quiet until the sixth when he tired just enough to allow a double to Ryan Huck (the same guy that victimized him in the All-Star game) and a RBI single by Jaycob Brugman for a 1-0 lead. Paul Paez and Juan Urbina pitched three shutout innings after that.

While Cecchini reached base every time he came to the plate, the Cyclones only managed three other hits and didn’t get a single free pass as they were shutout. Their best opportunity came in the eighth inning when Cecchini and L.J. Mazzilli both singled to get two runners on with just one out, but Jared King struck out and James Roche popped out to end the threat.

SUNDAY (6-4 win over the Lake Monsters)

The bats might have taken Saturday off, but they came back in a big way on Sunday as every single Cyclone in the lineup got at least one hit en route to a 6-4 victory in the rubber match.

The Cyclones actually trailed 4-3 in the eighth inning, but thanks to six hits, a wild pitch, and a sac fly they pulled off the comeback. Matthew Oberste was at the plate with the bases loaded that inning when reliever Sam Bragg uncorked a wild pitch to tie the game at 4-4 and then Oberste hit a sac fly to right to take the lead. Catcher Colton Plaia singled to drive in another run to increase the lead to 6-4.

That rally salvaged a great pitching performance by Robert Gsellman who allowed just one run, none earned, on five hits and five strikeouts over seven innings. It was David Wynn who came in during the eighth inning and gave up three runs to nearly blow the game. Juan Urbina eventually came in to get the final four outs.

• On top of a four-hit game on Saturday, Cecchini kept his hitting streak alive and extended it to 16 games. He’s hitting an amazing .409/.437/.470 during that stretch.

• Biondi’s hitting streak ended on Friday at seven games, but he still did well going 3-for-11 over the weekend and is hitting .306/.409/.389 over his last 10 games. He also picked up a stolen base on Saturday and Sunday.

• Jared King returned to the lineup after missing 10 days with an oblique strain. He went 3-for-9 in his return to the lineup with all three hits coming on Sunday.

• Finally, L.J. Mazzilli continued his strong August with a 3-for-11 weekend. He’s hitting .327/.382/.510 in 13 games this month.

• Despite a couple of loses over the weekend, the Aberdeen IronBirds remain a game up in the McNamara division. The Cyclones have fallen to five back in the Wild Card race as the State College Spikes and the Lowell Spinners are both on three game winning streaks.

• It’s all Cyclones/Staten Island Yankees this week as the Cyclones host the Yanks for a doubleheader on Monday, play another at home on Tuesday, head to SI on Wednesday, and then come back home to play them again on Thursday. They head to Vermont for a three-game series after that. Bullpen ace Akeel Morris gets his first start of the season in the first game on Monday against righty Giovanny Gallegos of the Yanks.