2007-06-21 / Top Stories

Cyclones Upend Yankees, 5-1, In Seventh Home Opener

Cyclones' manager Edgar Alfonzo (#7)and Yankees' manager Mike Gillespie (far right) present lineups and discuss ground rules with umpires at home plate before seventh season home opener at KeySpan Park Tuesday night.           Cyclones' manager Edgar Alfonzo (#7)and Yankees' manager Mike Gillespie (far right) present lineups and discuss ground rules with umpires at home plate before seventh season home opener at KeySpan Park Tuesday night. By Jerry Del Priore

After losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Staten Island Yankees last year, the Brooklyn Cyclones got a measure of revenge Tuesday night as they defeated their cross-borough rivals, 5-1, in their season opener before a sold-out crowd at KeySpan Park in Coney Island.

Cyclones manager Edgar Alfonso, who led the club to a franchise-best 52 wins and a championship in their inaugural season in 2001, is back for his second stint and knows that small-ball will be the key to winning for his team.

"We can score some runs by doing the little things," Alfonso, a former New York Met, said after the game. "…we found the spots here and there, and moved the guys over in situations. And we played it (small-ball) tonight and won the game."

After a single by Ender Chavez and a hit-and-run base hit by Will Vogl, third baseman J.R. Voyles, who replaced injured starter Zach Lutz, in the third inning, launched a three-run homer of losing pitching Nick Chigges in the bottom of the sixth to snap a scoreless tie.

"It was awesome," Voyles said of belting his first professional dinger. "I heard the crowd cheering as I was rounding the bases, and it was a great feeling."

Brooklyn increased the lead to 5-0 on a bases loaded single by Raul Reyes off Yankee reliever Jason Kiley in the bottom of the eighth.

Starting Cyclone hurler J.J. Leaper tossed five shutout innings with three strikeouts, but did not figure in the decision.

Edgar Ramirez relieved Leaper in the sixth and pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the win. Grady Hinchman entered in the eight and preserved the Cyclones' shutout.

Dan McDonald came on in the ninth and surrendered a triple to Justin Snyder, who scored on a passed ball. But McDonald retired the next three batters to seal the victory for Brooklyn.

Yankee starter Gabriel Medina, who also had a no-decision, pitched five strong innings, only allowing one hit, while fanning six and retiring the last ten batters he faced.

The Brooklyn Cyclones are the New York Mets short-season single A affiliate in the New York-Penn League. They have averaged close to 300,000 every year since their debut.

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