The Class A Short Season Cyclones didn't get much out of their offense Thursday night. But thanks to the pitching staff, that wasn't a problem.
Four Cyclones pitchers combined on a one-hit shutout as Brooklyn beat Hudson Valley, 1-0, at MCU Park to even the best-of-3 New York-Penn League semifinals.
Gameday box score
Cyclones manager Edgardo Alfonzo was enthused by his staff's sterling showing, but he wasn't surprised.
"Our pitching has been great all season, they are a big reason why we are in this situation to begin with," he said. "So the type of effort they gave tonight is what I have come to expect."
Nathan Jones led things off with three hitless innings, striking out three and walking one. The right-hander only got into trouble once, when Ben Troike reached on a fielding error by shortstop Wilmer Reyes and Tampa Bay's No. 9 prospect Greg Jones walked, but he induced a groundout from Nick Sogard and a flyout from Luis Leon to cap his outing.
Mets No. 4 prospect Matthew Allan (1-0) followed with two perfect frames of relief. The third-round pick in this year's Draft started with a 1-2-3 fourth, then was put in line for the win when Jed Lowrie cranked a solo homer in the bottom of the frame. He sat down the Renegades in order again in the fifth.
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Corey Gaconi gave up a single to Hill Alexander with one out in the seventh, then buckled down to get two outs on three pitches to escape the frame. The right-hander breezed through the eighth, finishing his night with back-to-back strikeouts.
Right-hander Nelson Leon closed out the shutout with a clean ninth, allowing a walk to Ranfy Adon before getting Jacson McGowan to ground into a double play to end the game.
"All of the guys who threw tonight are such different pitchers, so I think that had a lot to do with their success," Alfonzo said. "Jones did a great job of mixing up pitches. Allan throws real hard and then Gaconi was up and down with his speeds and Leon closed it out. If you had four at-bats tonight, you saw four different pitchers and that's hard for a hitter to deal with."
The Cyclones forced a decisive Game 3 at 6:30 p.m. ET Friday in Brooklyn.
"This is great," Alfonzo said. "One-run games on back-to-back nights. They are a great team, this is what we expected coming into it, and now we get to do it one more time tomorrow."
In other New York-Penn League playoff action:
Spinners 2, Muckdogs 1
Yusniel Padron-Artilles struck out 14 batters over six innings, including the first 12 he faced, as Lowell forced a decisive Game 3 in the semifinals. The right-hander allowed a single by Milton Smith II in the seventh, but was perfect the rest of the way to close it out. Batavia took an early lead when Marlins No. 16 prospect Nasim Nunez scored on a groundout by Dalvy Rosario in the third, but Roldani Baldwin socked a solo shot to even the score in the fourth. Each team logged just one hit over the next 4 1/2 innings until Joe Davis crushed a walk-off solo shot. The series will be decided at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday in Lowell. Gameday box score