By Jerry Del Priore
It took local product Frank Valentino (2-4) to hurl the Brooklyn Cyclones into the New York-Penn League (NYPL) playoffs on the last day of the regular season.
Valentino, who’s from West Islip, Long Island, pitched 5.1 innings of solid one-run ball, allowing a hit and two walks with nine strikeouts, as the Cyclones defeated the Staten Island Yankees, 4-1, at home Monday night to help them capture their first McNamara Division title since 2010, and first playoff berth since 2012.
Relievers Nick MacDonald, Hunter Parsons, and Reyson Santos combined to throw 3.2 scoreless frames, whiffing seven batters for a total of 16 Staten Island batters in the game.
Brooklyn scored three runs in the bottom of the third, as shortstop Wilmer Reyes drove in a run with a single and infielder Luke Ritter smacked a two-run double to take a 3-0 lead.
The Cyclones fourth run came on an RBI groundout from designated hitter Robinson Cano, who’s on a rehab assignment for the New York Mets.
Brooklyn begins the postseason at Hudson Valley (Tampa) Wednesday night, opening up a best of three-game series. The two teams will play Thursday in Brooklyn, and Friday in Brooklyn if necessary.
The Cyclones finished the season at 43-32, closing out the 2019 campaign with their most victories since the 2012 season.