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Cohoon stakes out spot on the hill

Of the Cyclones’ five starting pitchers, Mark Cohoon stands out the least. Brandon Moore, manager Pedro Lopez said, has the best stuff, Jim Fuller the highest velocity, Darin Gorski is the lone top 10-round draft pick of the bunch and Collin McHugh is somewhat of a strikeout specialist.

Cohoon’s record – 7-1 – is what gets him noticed.

The 6-foot-2 left-hander out of North Central Texas College picked up No. 7, tops in the New York-Penn League, Sunday afternoon, going seven innings in Brooklyn’s 8-4 win over Jamestown that snapped a mini two-game losing skid.

“I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily surprised because I worked hard to get to where I’m at,” the Mets’ 12th-round pick in last year’s draft said.

Cohoon allowed six hits and three earned runs, all of them in the Jammers’ three-run second inning, walked one and struck out five while lowing his ERA to 2.77. Cohoon made a promise to himself after the frame.

“I’m not going to give up any more runs,” he said.

Lopez, the first-year manager, said this season’s staff pales in comparison to the group in Coney Island last year that featured prospects such as Brad Holt and Jenrry Mejia. What this quintet has, Lopez said, “is pitchability. We can pitch.”

At the top of the list is Cohoon.

“Who’s been most consistent? It has been Cohoon – by far,” Lopez said.

In his 10 starts, Cohoon has allowed more than three earned runs once – in a July 12 loss to Staten Island. He has worked at least six innings nine times. He said the key to his sterling season is pace – pitching fast. It keeps the fielders behind him on their toes and makes it tougher on opposing batters to zone in. Cohoon said he slowed down in the second, which led to the Jammers rally.

“If my tempo is quick, I’m getting my groundouts, strikeouts here and there,” he said. “That’s the main thing. Keeping up my pace, working fast and getting us back in the dugout.”

His quick work could very well earn Cohoon a spot in the New York-Penn League All-Star game, set for Aug. 18 at State College (Pa.). Lopez, who will coach the National League team, along with his entire staff – Rick Tomlin, Jack Voigt and Joel Fuentes – endorsed Cohoon.

“I would love it,” Cohoon said. “It’s an honor for you personally. Hopefully a bunch of guys get selected from our team.”

Notes: Infielder Matt Gaski received his first start in close to two weeks, dating back to July 27, and responded better than could have been expected. He went 2-for-2, drove in a run and walked twice while playing standout defense at second base. Lopez said Gaski will be in the lineup again Tuesday when Brooklyn opens a three-game series against Mahoning Valley. “He deserves it,” Lopez said. … Gorski, Moore and Fuller will each start the series against Mahoning Valley, who leads the Pinckney division at 33-18. “It should be a good series,” Lopez said. “I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time.” … Outfielder Nick Santomauro’s two-run homer to right was Brooklyn’s first homer at KeySpan Park to that part of the field, where the wind typically blows in, this year.

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