Wednesday night ended up being a winning night for the 5 Brooklyn Cyclones and their coaching staff in the 2019 New York-Penn League All-Star Game. Those 5 players were part of a 7-4 victory by Team Blue over Team Red.
For Team Blue manager and Cyclones manager Edgardo Alfonzo, it was a great experience for him and it was all about putting the players in the right situation:
“I think if you put the right there, you don’t have to do anything. It was a great experience. I really enjoyed it. Nothing you can say to the guys because everything was right on,” said Alfonzo.
The only Cyclones position player to get the start in this game was Wilmer Reyes. The infielder hit in the third spot in the order and played at shortstop. He struck out swinging in the top of the first. However, in his next at-bat, he worked a five-pitch walk against Connecticut pitcher Xavier Javier and he would score on a sacrifice fly by Mahoning Valley’s Brian Lavastida to give Team Blue a 4-0 lead:
“He’s a guy that has been doing a great job so far and that’s why he is on this team. Tonight, he did it again. It’s been good to see that from him and hopefully tomorrow, he can come back and do it for the rest of the season,” said Alfonzo about Reyes.
As for the pitchers, none of them got the start for Team Blue, but all of them did their job when entering the game. Garrison Bryant was the first one up in the bottom of the second as he allowed two hits and struck out two on 21 pitches (15 strikes).
In the fifth inning, it was Matt Cleveland‘s turn. Cleveland allowed one hit and struck out a batter while throwing 9 of his 10 pitches for strikes as he was the winning pitcher. Mitch Ragan would follow him in the next inning with a 1-2-3 inning on 9 pitches (6 strikes). Alfonzo summed up the strong night that all of the pitchers had:
“They threw tremendously. I don’t have to do anything. You just put them in there and do the job,” said Alfonzo.
One thing that stood out in this game was that none of the three Cyclones that took the mound threw the ball harder than 92 miles-per-hour on a particular pitch. However, they were able to use their offspeed to be efficient in their outings and it has developed over the course of the season:
“They have been doing a pretty good job. When they have confidence in those pitches, they should use them. That’s what they have been doing so far and it seems to be working. It is good to see that from them,” said Alfonzo.
Joe Genord was the other Cyclones position player to play. He entered the game at first base in the fifth inning and made a good basket catch in foul territory to help Cleveland out. At the plate, he went 0-for-2 with a groundout in the sixth and a lineout to second in the seventh.
After that groundout in the sixth, the eventual MVP of the game, Tri-City catcher Nathan Perry, hit a solo home run to right field to give Team Blue a 5-2 lead at the time. For Perry, playing at Staten Island’s home ballpark (Richmond County Bank Ballpark At St. George) was special for him:
“It was awesome. The whole backdrop of the city in the background. It doesn’t get any better than that. In spring training, my grandfather passed away and he was a huge Yankees fan. We played at Staten Island one series before this and I hit the best I ever hit. I had my first-ever professional three-hit game and for tonight to do that, it was all for him. It was a really special moment and I know he was up there smiling down on that.”
In terms of other players that shined for Team Blue, Lowell’s Joe Davis went 2-for-2 with an RBI single in the first to start the scoring and Batavia’s Milton Smith II had an RBI double in the second. Kendall Simmons from the Williamsport Crosscutters gave Team Blue a 3-0 lead with an RBI single after Smith’s double.