BROOKLYN, NY-The Brooklyn Cyclones used a two-run single from third baseman Jose Peroza, and relief pitcher Matt Mullenbach pitched out of a second and third, one-out jam in the eighth to defeat the Hudson Valley Renegades 3-2 at MCU Park Monday evening.
The scoring started in the second inning for Brooklyn as designated hitter Luke Ritter belted his third homerun of the year. It was a solo-shot over the leftfield wall as the Cyclones took a 1-0 lead.
After being held to only two hits through the first five innings, the Renegades finally got on the board in the sixth. Rightfielder Hill Alexander ripped a triple to center to start the inning, then scored on a single left from first baseman Jacson McGowan.
Hudson Valley would then use the longball from a very unlikely source to take the lead in the seventh. Leftfielder K.V. Edwards, who had not homered on the season and was only batting .179 entering play Monday, walloped a solo-homer to left to give the Renegades a 2-1 lead. Unfortunately, before Edwards' at-bat, designated hitter Jordyn Muffley was thrown out trying to steal second after he singled to lead off the inning. Had he still been on base the homerun would have made it a two-run advantage.
That proved to be costly because the Cyclones came right back with two runs of their own in the bottom-half of the seventh. With one away, Ritter grounded a single to left against reliever Blake Pflughaupt before stealing second. A groundout would follow for out number two, however rightfielder Jake Mangum kept the inning alive by reaching on an infield single to third, which allowed Ritter to advance a base. Mangum, like Ritter, promptly stole second to put runners at second and third with two away. That set the stage for Peroza who roped a two-run single to center as the Cyclones retook the lead 3-2.
The Renegades had a chance to tie the game in the eighth when back-to-back walks to McGowan and catcher Jonathan Embry put runners at first and second. However, that is when Mullenbach came in and pushed the Renegades around. He caught second baseman Ben Troike looking for the second out. McGowan and Embry would later move up on a passed ball, but Mullenbach was able to get Muffley to strike out swinging to end the inning.
That would be Hudson Valley's last chance as Mullenbach fired a 1-2-3 ninth inning to nail down his fourth save of the season and his second against the Renegades.
It was the second time this season Mullenbach prevented a Renegades comeback. On July 19th at Dutchess Stadium, he entered the game with the bases loaded and nobody out with the Cyclones owning a 4-2 lead. Mullenbach proceeded to strike out the next three hitters to get out of the inning unscathed. He then pitched a scoreless ninth to give Brooklyn the win.
Each team had seven hits for the contest. Ritter led the way for Brooklyn by going 3-3 with a homer, two runs, and an RBI. Muffley had two hits for Hudson Valley in four at-bats.
Getting the win for Brooklyn was reliever Andrew Edwards (1-2) even though he allowed a run on three hits in 1.1 innings with two walks. The loss fell to Pflughaupt (0-1) who gave up two runs on four hits in 1.2 frames. Both starting pitchers were sensational. Matt Cleveland of the Cyclones went six innings and allowed a run on four hits. He also struck out five. Hurler Rodolfo Sanchez was a little better for the Renegades as he allowed a single run on three hits over six innings.
Hudson Valley continues its three-game series with in an 11:30 morning start tomorrow. It will be southpaw John Doxakis (0-0, 2.70 ERA) going for the Renegades against right-hander Garrison Bryant (3-1, 3.00 ERA) of the Cyclones.
The Renegades return to Dutchess Stadium on Thursday, August 8 when they take on the Tri-City ValleyCats in a doubleheader beginning at 5:05. Both games will be seven innings long. It will be the start of a four-game series in three days between the clubs. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased online at hvrenegades.com, at the Dutchess Stadium ticket window, or by calling the ticket office at (845) 838-0094.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.