ASHEVILLE, N.C. (August 24, 2023) — In a game that featured three lead changes from the seventh inning onward and an early four-run deficit for the Cyclones, Brooklyn battled and snared a thrilling 13-12, 10-inning victory over the Asheville Tourists on Thursday night at McCormick Field.
Behind 7-6 entering the seventh inning, SS Jett Williams started a rally for Brooklyn (30-21, 58-58) with a single to center. On the very next pitch, C Kevin Parada powered a two-run home run over the tall fence in right. The 22-year-old’s first long ball since returning off the injured list on Tuesday — and 11th of the season — gave the Cyclones their first lead of the day, 8-7.
The lead did not last, however. DH Austin Deming led off the home eighth for Asheville (20-31, 46-66) with a base knock to left and moved to third on back-to-back one-out walks.
Following a strikeout, CF Jacob Melton hit a broken bat floater into shallow right field. The second baseman and right fielder glanced off one another and the ball landed safely on the right-field grass. Two men came home on the single to put the Tourists back in front, 9-8.
Brooklyn immediately responded in the top of the ninth. CF Rhylan Thomas opened the frame with a walk before Williams hit a pop fly down the left-field line.
The shortstop overran the ball toward the chalk line and could not reel it in when he reached back into fair territory. Thomas made it to second safely and was able to scamper to third — and Williams to second — when the throw in squirted away from the second baseman.
After a strikeout and a pop-up to second, RF Stanley Consuegra fell behind in the count 0-2 before working a walk to load the bases on the seventh pitch of the at-bat.
On the seventh pitch of his plate appearance, 3B William Lugo sizzled a line drive over the shortstop's head and into left field. Thomas and Williams crossed on the single to give the Cyclones the lead once more, 10-9.
The seesaw continued to waffle back and forth in the home half of the ninth. C Ryan Wrobleski and 3B Tyler Whitaker started the inning with consecutive singles before a whiff and a pop-up to shallow right pulled Brooklyn within an out of victory.
2B Kobe Kato promptly smacked the first pitch he saw through the hole between first and second for a base hit. Wrobleski overslid home plate, as Parada missed the swipe tag. Asheville’s catcher was somehow able to maneuver around Brooklyn’s backstop to tap home and tie the game at 10.
Parada was ejected from the contest following the call by home plate umpire Steven Craze after the Georgia Tech alum protested the controversial ruling.
In the top of the 10th, the Cyclones found a way to hang a crooked number again. With 1B Drake Osborn as the automatic runner at second, 1B-2B Chase Estep reached with an infield single to start the attack. De Los Santos then drew a walk to load the bags.
Thomas delivered the lead, ripping a line drive single to left to put the ‘Clones back ahead, 11-10. C Christian Pregent — who entered for Parada after his ejection — followed two hitters later with a sacrifice fly to stretch the lead to two.
With runners at the corners, Thomas broke for second on a double steal attempt. The throw came down to second base and LF Omar De Los Santos broke from third towards the dish.
The second baseman could not find his grip and settled for the rundown between first and second. De Los Santos scored before Thomas could be tagged for the third and final out stretching the ‘Clones advantage to three.
The Tourists would not go without a fight in the bottom of the inning. LF John García started the inning with an RBI double off the right-field wall, scoring the automatic runner from second.
The Bronx native scooted to third and then scored on a pair of ground outs to first and short, respectively, pulling Asheville within one, 13-12.
RHP Luis Montas (1-1) forced Wrobleski to line out to center field to end the contest and the 10-inning marathon.
Both teams traded a bevy of home runs during the first several innings.
3B Tyler Whitaker gave the Tourists an early 2-0 lead by crushing a two-run home run over the wall in center in the bottom of the first. Consuegra answered with a solo shot — his team-leading 19th and third in as many days — to pull Brooklyn within one in the top of the second.
García pushed Asheville’s edge back to two in the bottom of the frame when he capped a 15-pitch at-bat with a run-scoring single to center.
Clifford quickly tied the game for the Cyclones by hammering a two-run home run over the fence in right-center field. His first round-tripper since returning to Asheville — his 19th in the South Atlantic League — knotted the game at three.
The Tourists took a game-high four-run lead in the home half of the frame. With one out, Wrobleski powered his seventh home run to give Asheville a 4-3 lead.
Later in the inning, RF Michael Sandle and Kato provided back-to-back run-producing doubles before SS Rolando Espinosa capped the outburst with a seeing-eye RBI single to left.
The Cyclones pulled to within one, 7-6, in the top of the fourth. Lugo led off the inning with a single, took third on a 2B D’Andre Smith double, and scored on Estep’s ground out to second. De Los Santos followed with a two-run blast to left — his 7th of the season — to make it a one-
Neither starter received a decision on Thursday. Brooklyn’s RHP Jawilme Ramírez was chased with two outs in the third after permitting seven runs on seven hits. RHP Valente Bellozo was taxed for six runs on seven hits over five frames.
Montas earned his first win of the season in relief for the ‘Clones, permitting three runs (two earned) on four hits over two innings.
RHP Ronny García (2-2) was charged with his second defeat for the Tourists after surrendering three runs (two earned) on two hits in an inning of work.
Manager Chris Newell was tossed from the affair following both dugouts being warned after De Los Santos was drilled with a pitch in the sixth inning.
The Cyclones will try and make it three consecutive victories on Friday night. RHP Joander Suárez (4-9, 5.44 ERA) — who is one strikeout shy of the team’s single-season record — is expected to get the ball for the Cyclones against the Astros’ No. 13 prospect per Baseball America, Tourists’ RHP Miguel Ullola (3-6, 6.06 ERA). The first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.