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Mark Cohoon couldn’t catch a break.
First, his scheduled start was delayed a day by rain. Then it was pushed back an additional 20 minutes Sunday afternoon. And after being handed a one-run lead, he had to stop again after a 25-minute rain delay.
When he returned, the southpaw yielded consecutive home runs to Neil Medchill and Kelvin Castro.
“Anytime you get cold and have to get warm again, it’s tough to be in the game,” he said.
Cohoon, however, managed just fine from that moment on, allowing just one hit, Hector Rabago’s bunt single, across his final 3 2/3 innings of work. Combined with Brooklyn striking for four runs in the bottom of the second, the big blow Sam Honeck’s two-out opposite-field single, he picked up his first win of the year in the Cyclones’ rain-shortened, 5-2 victory in 5 ½ innings over the rival Staten Island Yankees.
“Right after the second home run, I said to myself, ‘Go back and throw a strike on the first pitch,’” recalled Cohoon, who allowed four hits and struck out five altogether. “They’re both exceptional hitters.”
The Cyclones (2-0), meanwhile, continued to excel offensively themselves. They had eight hits off starter Kelvin Perez and reliever Michael Solbach, scoring three runs with two outs, all in the second. In Friday night’s opener, they scored four runs with two outs.
“Two-out hits are the key, especially when there are men on,” said Honeck, whose two-run single was his first professional hit. Leadoff man John Servidio had two hits and scored twice and Luis Nieves and Nick Giarraputo each drove in a run in the second.
“They capitalized and they got hits when they needed them and they get credit for that,” Staten Island manager Josh Paul said.
First-year manager Pedro Lopez used almost an identical lineup to the one that won the opener. He said he will use his entire team – “we have a 30-man roster and in order to win a championship I need all 30 of them” – but so far has leaned on veterans instead of recently drafted first-year players.
The only changes were left-fielder Alex Gregory and designated hitter Dock Doyle. Of the nine, only Gregory and Honeck are first-year pros. His reliance on established players such as Servidio and third baseman Matt Bouchard goes back to when the team was first assembled and he addressed the more experienced members of the club.
“You have to show them how we play New York Mets baseball,” Lopez told them.
He couldn’t have asked for a better start. He has received solid outings from his two starters. The bullpen has yet to give up a run in five innings of work. The lineup is producing, particularly in the clutch.
“This is what I was looking for,” Lopez said. “It seems like the team chemistry is outstanding.”
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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