By Jerry Del Priore
It took 19 years, but the Brooklyn Cyclones finally won the New York-Penn League (NYPL) Championship outright, by edging the Lowell Spinners, 4-3, on Tuesday night at MCU Park.
The Cyclones and Williamsport Crosscutters were co-champions after the 9/11 attacks caused the league to shut down the series, as Brooklyn was ahead, 1-0, in the best-of-three series.
The Cyclones raced out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second after New York Mets 2019 first-round pick, Brett Baty, walked on four pitches and Ranfy Adon followed with a double down the left-field line. Jake Mangum came up big with a single to left field to plate Antoine Duplantis and Brooklyn tacked on an RBI groundout to give them an early advantage.
But the Spinners (Red Sox) responded with two runs of their own to tie the score at 2-2 in the top of the third.
The game would stay that way until Mitch Ragan (1-0) gave up a solo home run to Marino Campana, who was playing in his first postseason game this year, that gave Lowell a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh.
As they have done so many times this season, however, the Cyclones battled back. Mangum single with one out and Duplantis followed up with a run-scoring triple into the right-field corner that knotted the contest at 3-3 in the bottom of the eight.
But the go-ahead run came off the bat of Yoel Romero, who shot a single into left field to plate Duplantis with the game-winning run.
Reliever Andrew Edwards, sporting the hot hand as of late, came in and proceeded to slam the door shut on Lowell with 2.0 shutout frames. The lefty bent but didn’t break, as he permitted a base hit and a walk in the ninth, putting the tying run into scoring position.
But Edwards whiffed Stephen Scott and Alex Erro to end the contest and give Brooklyn, and its fans, their long-awaited title.