Brooklyn Cyclones right-handed pitcher Matt Cleveland faced trouble early Sunday against the Aberdeen IronBirds. Johnny Rizer swung on the first pitch he saw with a double to deep right-center field.
Rizer scored on an infield single from Ian Evans for the first run of the game. Cleveland limited the damage holding Aberdeen to one run in the inning, but the Cyclones struggled to fight back in a 4-3 loss.
“He was good. He was really aggressive from the mound too bad it was a little while, but not too much. I think he did what we expect to and that was a great outing out from Matt to get confident,” said manager Edgardo Alfonzo.
Cleveland’s pitching woes continued in the top of the third. With bases loaded the Ironbirds’ Irving Ortega hit an RBI single to right field driving in Dalton Hoiles. Ian Evans tried scoring from second but was thrown out at the plate by Jose Medina.
“He’s the guy that did a great job last year for us. He started over in Columbia and I think he had a little slump there so they sent him back here to see what’s up… He’s a great defense guy, offensive guy and can run a little bit and got a good arm,” said manager Alfonzo.
In the top of the fourth Hoiles singled to center field driving in Lenin Rodriguez with two outs. The right-handed pitcher threw four innings allowing three runs over five hits.
The Ironbirds’ Dallas Litscher stunned the Cyclones offense holding them to two hits over five and ⅔ innings with seven strikeouts. Litscher was the 10 round pick out of the University of Saint Katherine in 2018 for the Baltimore Orioles.
In the top of the eighth Rizer tripled to right-center, scoring Hoiles. Rizer was a home run away from the cycle.
Brooklyn’s offense came alive in the bottom of the eighth when Guillermo Granadillo reached on a throwing error by Rodriguez, followed by a two-out walk from Joe Genord. Medina singled bringing in Granadillo. Felix Bautista struggled with his location and walked in a run with two straight walks to Anthony Dirocie and Gavin Garay.
The Cyclones began a rally in the bottom of the ninth when Angel Manzanarez doubled with one out and then advanced to third on an out by Granadillo. With Genord up, runners were on the corners and on a wild pitch, Manzanarez scored. Marlon Constante held Brooklyn to one run, getting Genord to pop up to shallow right.
The Cyclones next game will be Monday, June 16 against the Aberdeen Ironbirds at 7 p.m.