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Cyclones ‘08 highlights - No ring, but squad has plenty to be happy about

Although the Brooklyn Cyclones ended their 2008 season on a down note when they failed to make the New York- Penn League playoffs, the team still performed very well finishing the year with a 45 –30 record, which was actually fourth best in the 14 team league.

Individually several Brooklyn Cyclones players really shined. Kirk Nieuwenhuis was the best all-around player on the team with a .277 average which included 79 hits, 15 doubles, 3 triples and 3 home runs. Catcher Jason Abruzzo and outfielder Sean Ratliff tied for the team lead with 7 home runs, while Josh Satin finished with the highest average on the team at .280.

On the pitching side Jimmy Johnson finished the year with a 5-0 record and a 1.25 ERA; Chris Schwinden went 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA and Scott Shaw went 6-3 with a 2.80 ERA. While all of the above named pitchers had a very good season, pitcher Brad Holt was just a little bit better. Holt led the New York-Penn League in ERA at 1.87 and strikeouts with 96. Holt finished the season with a 5-3 record in 14 games. In addition, Holt set a new Cyclones franchise record for strikeouts, fanning 10.7 batters per nine innings. In 72.1 innings, Holt allowed just 43 hits, 18 runs, 15 earned, and 33 walks.

In addition to leading the league in strikeouts, Holt’s strikeout total set a new franchise record for the Cyclones, eclipsing the previous mark of 93, set by Kevin Deaton in 2002. Holt was also chosen to represent the Cyclones in the New York-Penn League All-Star game and he struck out 2 batters in his all-star appearance.

While pitching for the Cyclones this season, Holt struck out 10 batters in a game four different times, and on July 24 against the Vermont Lake Monsters Holt tied a franchise record with 14 strikeouts in 6 innings of work. In Holt’s last game of the year he struck out 12 batters in just 5.2 innings.

For his sensational year Brad Holt was named the New York Mets Sterling Player of the year and received his award on the field at Shea Stadium.

In addition to Brad Holt there were four other former Cyclones players who were named Sterling Award winners: 2007 Cyclones pitcher Dillon Gee, who was the Sterling Award winner for Port St. Lucie; 2008 Cyclones infielder Wilmer Flores, who was the Sterling Award winner for Kingsport; and Nick Evans (2005) and Daniel Murphy (2006 and 2008), who were named Organizational Co-Players of the Year.

While former Cyclones Evans and Murphy have spent considerable time on the Mets this season, there are five other former Cyclones who played for the Mets in 2008. They are Joe Smith, Angel Pagan, Carlos Muniz, Eddie Kunz and Bobby Parnell. This incidentally is the most Cyclones in the history of the team to play for the Mets in any one season.

With the 2008 Cyclones season history, the team will just have to do like the Brooklyn Dodgers use to do every year and that is “Wait till next year” to bring a championship back to Brooklyn.

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