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The Brooklyn Cyclones early-season honeymoon is officially over.
The squad started the year a blistering 16-2 and got off the best start in franchise history at 26-11. Since then, Brooklyn is just 2-6 and finds itself just three games ahead of the Staten Island Yankees atop the McNamara Division.
“When things come that easy you really just don’t know what failure is like,” first baseman Sam Honeck said. “Once you do realize what it is it makes you a better player. So for us, we peaked too early. I’m not saying that is all we have left. We kind of won and everything was kind of handed to us and now we are in a fight for our lives for the season.”
The Cyclones ended an important seven-game stretch with just two wins as they fell, 7-0, to the Hudson Valley Renegades at KeySpan Park Monday. Brooklyn (28-17) managed just five hits and was held to one run or less for the third time in four games.
“It’s a combination of trying too hard and the mental approach not being there,” manager Pedro Lopez, who talked to the team for 30 minutes after the game, said…“It’s a [learning] process in front of the result. Some of these guys have put the result in front of the process.”
The results certainly haven’t been good of late.
Catcher Mayobanex Acosta’s RBI single to right gave the Renegades a 1-0 lead in the first off Brooklyn starter Mark Cohoon. The lefty then retired 15 Hudson Valley batters in a row until he surrendered a mammoth solo homer to designated hitter Mark Thomas. The shot hit off the top of the video screen in left field.
The Renegades (24-21) scored three more times in the top of the seventh, highlighted by Tyler Bortnick’s two-RBI single off reliever Erik Turgeon to make it 5-0. The left-hander came in for Cohoon, who walked the first two batters of the inning. He allowed three runs on four hits over six innings. Hudson Valley added two more runs in the ninth, including one on a bases-loaded walk from reliever Mike Lynn.
The Cyclones ran themselves out of two potential scoring chances against Hudson Valley starter Alexander Colome. Justin Garber was tagged out trying to steal third with two on and no outs in the first and Jake Eigsti was caught stealing second with a runner on third and one out in the third. In the second inning Brooklyn could not get a run across the plate with runners on second and third and one out.
“We did a good job grinding some at-bats out and then Garber gets thrown out and all of a sudden [Colome] gets to feel a little better,” Lopez said.
Better is exactly what the Cyclones will need to be if they hope to stay atop the McNamara Division.
“Some guys might be pressing a little bit because they are trying to do too much,” Honeck said. “Right now we are just in a rut.”
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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