LAKEWOOD, N.J. (August 3, 2023) — 1B Ryan Clifford introduced himself to New York Met fans with a bang on Thursday night. The 20-year-old powered a two-run home run in his first at-bat with Brooklyn, ultimately reaching base four times, as the Cyclones clipped the Jersey Shore BlueClaws, 6-3, from ShoreTown Ballpark.
In his organizational debut, Clifford went 2-for-3 at the plate — adding a single to left in the ninth — with a pair of walks and runs scored.
Brooklyn (22-11, 50-48) started fast. SS Jett Williams worked a leadoff walk in the top of the first and stole second base before scoring on LF Alex Ramírez’s RBI double to left-center.
In front 1-0, Clifford stepped to the dish and worked the count full. On the sixth offering of the plate appearance, the Raleigh, N.C. native cracked a screaming line drive onto the berm beyond the right-field fence for a two-run home run. His first blast as a member of the Mets’ organization — and 17th in the South Atlantic League — put Brooklyn ahead 3-0.
Two innings later, the ‘Clones utilized the long ball again. Following a one-out free pass to Clifford, RF Stanley Consuegra blasted a liner over the wall in left for a two-run home run. The 22-year-old’s team-leading 12th gopher ball of the year padded Brooklyn's advantage to 5-0.
Both teams traded tallies in the middle frames. Jersey Shore’s DH Gabriel Rincones Jr. singled and scored on C Andrick Nava’s RBI double in the top of the fourth. Brooklyn loaded the bases in the sixth on a CF Rhylan Thomas single and pair of walks before chasing in one on a double play grounder.
RHP Jawilme Ramírez (1-0) became the first Cyclones pitcher to toss eight-full innings since RHP Conner Grey hurled 8.1 frames on July 16, 2021, vs. Jersey Shore and came back out for the ninth.
Ramírez was unable to record an out in the final frame, yielding a solo home run to Rincones Jr. — his sixth — and a single to right by RF Leandro Pineda.
RHP Kolby Kubichek came on to try and close out the contest, but the BlueClaws (16-17, 51-47) loaded the bases on a Nava single and a walk to CF Jared Carr.
After a mound visit, the Bryan, Texas native buckled down. Kubichek struck out pinch-hitter Rixon Wingrove and forced SS Erick Brito to roll into a run-producing fielder’s choice.
With two out and Brooklyn’s lead at 6-3, 3B Otto Kemp stroked a drive down the line in left, but Ramírez made a beautiful running grab to close out the contest and the Cyclones’ second-straight win.
Ramírez tossed a career-high eight innings — allowing three runs on six hits, striking out four — earning the win in his Brooklyn and High-A debut.
RHP Mitch Neunborn (1-2) was taxed with five runs on five hits over a career-high-tying 3.0 innings, suffering his second defeat for Jersey Shore.
Brooklyn will try and extend the winning streak to three straight on Friday night. RHP Joander Suárez (3-8, 5.53 ERA) is projected to take the hill for the Cyclones. LHP Matt Osterberg (7-5, 3.53 ERA) is slated to make the start for the BlueClaws. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.