Owen, Cyclones take down defending champs

Brooklyn starter fans seven over five innings in 3-1 win over Staten Island

(George Napolitano)

September 10, 2007 9:39 PM

BROOKLYN, NY -- Dylan Owen tossed five shutout innings as host Brooklyn beat Staten Island, 3-1, on Monday for a berth in the New York-Penn League Championship Series.

Owen (1-0) scattered four hits and fanned seven. The 21-year-old right-hander retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced before being lifted after a 50-minute fog delay.

"I was able to throw all of my pitches for strikes," he said. "When you aren't able to put people on base, it's a lot of help. Our team played great tonight."

Owen continued his mastery of the defending champions. He went 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA in three outings against Staten Island during the regular season. Brooklyn's ace has yielded one earned run over his last 34 innings for an 0.27 ERA.

"When you're able to keep the main guys off base, its easier to go with the game," said Owen. "We kept pressure on them and I believe that helped us out tonight."

Cyclones relievers Brant Rustich and Edgar Ramirez combined for three shutout innings, and Eddie Kunz yielded an unearned run on one hit in the ninth for his first playoff save.

Raul Reyes hit an RBI double and scored in the fourth inning, and Lucas Duda clubbed a run-scoring single in the seventh, giving him five RBIs in two postseason games for Brooklyn.

The Cyclones will face the winner of the Oneonta-Auburn series in the best-of-3 Finals beginning Thursday.

"If we play Oneonta, we know about their hitters," Owen said. "Auburn, we've only played them three times, but I think if we play like we should, we'll be all right."

Brooklyn manager Edgar Alfonzo is taking a much simpler approach.

"They're both good teams," he said. "I don't care who we play. We just need to play hard."

Staten Island starter Darrell Rasner (0-1), on a rehab assignment from New York with a fractured right index finger, gave up two runs on two hits with three strikeouts and a walk in five innings.

Donald Hollingsworth lifted a sacrifice fly in the ninth and Taylor Holiday singled and doubled for the Yankees.

NOTES: Cyclones shortstop Matthew Bouchard left in the third inning after being hit by a pitch in the back of the head. He walked off the field under his own power and was taken to the hospital... Mets catcher Ramon Castro, in his second rehab game with Brooklyn, grounded into a double play and struck out in two at-bats... Staten Island had won the championship in each of its previous four trips to the playoffs.

Michael Blinn is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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