NEW YORK – First-year Staten Island Yankees manager David Bialas has so much to feel good about his ballclub these days.
The Yankees are heading to the New York Penn-League playoffs by winning another series in their 5-2 victory over the Brooklyn Cyclones last night at Richmond County Ballpark. They finished the regular season by winning three in a row.
“Since the All-Star break, we have won seven of our 10 series,” Bialas said of his 44-31 Yankees team. “Our pitching has been excellent, and we have hit the ball well.”
The Yankees broke the 2-2 tie by scoring three runs in the seventh inning, making it a 5-2 game.
Drew Bridges and Kendall Coleman hit singles off Cyclones pitcher Harol Gonzalez (7-3), and Nathan Mikolas hit a one-out RBI double to score Bridges and Coleman in the seventh inning.
“It was a big inning,” said Bialas. “We had momentum in that inning. It was a total team effort.”
Radley Haddad’s RBI single scored Mikolas in completing a three-run seventh inning.
“Radley hasn’t played much lately,” Bialas said. “I wanted him to play tonight. He has spent time watching film and working with our hitters as player-coach. It was good to see him going.”
Dom Thompson-Williams tied the game at 2 in the sixth inning by hitting a home run of Gonzalez. It was his third home run of the season.
“He made things happen,” Bialas said of Thompson-Williams’ two-hit night. “He can hit for power. He is a big part of our offense.”
This comes in light of Thompson-Williams playing with a sore hand. He had a day off Sunday after playing eight games in a row.
The Yankees scored the first run of the game in the first inning when Nick Solak grounded into a double-play, scoring Thompson-Williams, who hit a leadoff double and moved to third on Welfrin Mateo’s infield single.
Jonathan Padilla started the game for the Yanks, and he gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits in 4 1/3 innings while striking out four. Phillip Diehl had the win in relief by giving up a hit and striking out three in two scoreless innings. David Palladino had his fifth save of the season.
Justin Dunn started the game for the Cyclones, and he gave up a run on three hits in three innings while striking out two. Gonzalez took the loss, and he had a rough go of it by giving up four runs and five hits in his 3 2/3 innings of his relief appearance.
The Cyclones tied the game at 1 in the second inning after Anthony Dimino’s groundout scored Colby Woodmansee, who started the inning with a walk and move to third on Ali Sanchez’s one-out double.
The Cyclones had their sole lead in the fifth inning when Dimino scored on a throwing error by Yankees catcher Eduardo Navas. Dimino was able to get on base and move to second base after Haddad couldn’t catch the ball from Drew Bridges.
Tom Gamboa ended his Cyclones managerial career with an exclamation mark by getting tossed in the fourth inning. He argued with the umps about Blake Tiberi being out at first. He thought Tiberi was not tagged, so he went out to argue to no avail. He left the game by throwing helmets onto the field from the dugout, which was met with approval by the home crowd.
The Cyclones finished their season with a 37-39 record. This is their second losing season in a row after going 33-43 last year.
The Yankees will play Pinckney Division champions State College on Wednesday night at Richmond County Ballpark. Kolton Mahoney will start Game 1 against the Spikes, and he will be followed by Freieer Perez in Game 2 of the series Thursday night at State College.
This is Staten Island’s 11th playoff appearance, and they will be in the playoffs as a wild-card team.
The Yankees are chasing their seventh NYPL championship after falling short last year against the West Virginia Black Bears in the championship game.
Bialas likes his team’s chances of winning a championship because of his team’s pitching.
“Our starters have done an outstanding job,” he said. “They are going five or six innings. We had to go with a two piggyback rotation at times, but our starting rotation has been excellent all year.”
No matter what happens in the playoffs, Bialas is proud of his team.
“We are the Yankees,” he said. “We expect to play hard and win. This is a special group of guys.”