On the first pitch of his ninth-inning at-bat, Ranfy Adon swung through a breaking ball and fell behind in the count. But as Class A Short Season Brooklyn manager Edgardo Alfonzo noted, Adon stayed patient and didn't let the situation overwhelm him as he helped the team claim its biggest win of the season
The Mets outfield prospect ripped a walk-off double on Friday to give the Cyclones a 4-3 win over Hudson Valley and a berth in the New York-Penn League Championship Series. Brooklyn won the best-of-3 semifinal, 2-1.
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Adon, who homered in the third against starter and Rays No. 21 prospect John Doxakis, came up with one out in the ninth and Yoel Romero on second after he walked and moved up on Jake Ortega's sacrifice. The 22-year-old got ahead in the count, 2-1, against reliever Eleardo Cabrera and smoked the next offering into right field to bring in the winning run.
"After a first-pitch swing, he swung at a slider away, I know that they could throw anything," Alfonzo said. "He finally got a good pitch to hit and the wind here is kind of tricky, and when the ball drops, I knew we had a pretty good chance. When we scored, that was a great feeling because the guys have done a great job all year round. When that happened, you feel happy for them."
In the three-game series, Adon went 5-for-10 with two RBIs. Going back to last year's Appalachian League playoffs with Kingsport, the native of the Dominican Republic has hit .455/.500/.636 in six postseason contests. After dropping the first game of the semifinals on the road, Brooklyn stormed back in the last two to move on in the postseason.
"I told the guys it wasn't going to be easy, we would have to fight back," Alfonzo said. "Now we have the opportunity to play two games at home and try to do something. Tonight, it was a tremendous game that was about pitching. Hudson Valley, they always play hard, they never give up, they always fight back. We had a lot of chances earlier in the game to score more runs, but we couldn't come through. But we did when it counted in the bottom of the ninth to walk it off."
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Wilmer Reyes went 4-for-4 and ended the semifinals with five knocks. Rehabbing Mets infielder Jed Lowrie was 0-for-4 as the Cyclones' designated hitter. Alfonzo said he wasn't sure if Lowrie would continue his rehab with the Cyclones or move up to the Majors for the first time this year. That call likely will be determined Saturday.
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"I was telling the guys that this guy knows a lot about pressure -- make sure you get close to him. Try to get some advice because you're going to need it for this game," Alfonzo said. "The big thing for us is to get him healthy to get him to help the big club. ... If we can have him, that'd be great, but it's not my call. Hopefully, he's healthy and can help the big club."
Lefty Andrew Edwards (1-0) earned the win with two hitless innings, allowing a walk while striking out five of the seven batters he faced. As a whole, the bullpen combined for 7 2/3 frames, giving up one run and three hits with 12 strikeouts.
"The whole bullpen did a tremendous job," Alfonzo said. "Edwards did it in the series against Aberdeen, he threw like three shutout [innings]. He was tremendous. He's a guy that can compete and he's a lefty out of the 'pen that's good. All of those guys did good. Early in the game, [Matt Cleveland] was a little wild, so I didn't hesitate because I know I have the bullpen ready and they did a good job."
In other New York-Penn League playoff action:
Spinners 4, Muckdogs 3, 10 innings
Lowell walked off in the other semifinal to join Brooklyn in the Championship Series as Alex Erro scored the winning run on a throwing error by shortstop Dalvy Rosario. Jaxx Groshans, Stephen Scott and Erro notched two hits apiece for the Spinners, who also had a walk-off win in Game 2. Kris Jackson (1-0) fanned two in a hitless 10th for the victory. Gameday box score