2006-08-18 / Sports

Good Vibrations For Cyclones All-Stars

By Elio Velez

Cyclones relief pitcher and Woodmere native Josh Appell (22) smiles in the dugout as he realizes the wad of gum that's been placed on top of his cap. Photo By Pete Borriello.
Cyclones relief pitcher and Woodmere native Josh Appell (22) smiles in the dugout as he realizes the wad of gum that's been placed on top of his cap. Photo By Pete Borriello. As Dustin Martin arrived at the plate as one of six Brooklyn Cyclones all-stars to appear in the second annual New York Penn League All-Star game, the crowd at Cal Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Maryland was a buzzing.

The outfielder had no idea when he came up in the sixth inning Wednesday night that the crowd was doing laughing at him. As Martin arrived at home plate, he turned around and saw his National League teammates guffawing at him. As he adjusted his batting helmet, Martin realized what all the laughing was all about.

Brooklyn Cyclones' hitting coach Scott Hunter had put a wad of gum unknowingly on the top of the batting helmet. Once Martin saw it, he ripped it off and looked at the guilty culprit, his own hitting coach who had pulled similar pranks throughout the day.

Martin kept on laughing and who can blame the probable team MVP for doing so. He's been smiling at good fortune all season at the plate for his surging Cyclones, who entered the all-star break one game in front of Staten Island in the McNamara Division.

Playing the entire game in centerfield, Martin finished 2 for 5 n the night with a double but it wasn't enough as the American League All- Stars won the game 4-1.

They'll resume at presstime with a three game series against Auburn before facing the biggest test of the season with an a home and away two game set against Staten Island finishing at Keyspan Park on Tuesday.

He wasn't the sole Cyclones to appear in the festivities that took place at Aberdeen. Six Cyclones in total took part as National League and Cyclones manager George Greer got the opportunity to place his all-stars in the game. Starting pitcher Eric Brown, who has gone 4-1 this year and a top 10 ranking in ERA in the Penn League with a 1.51 ERA, pitched a scoreless inning. Jake Ruckle, another starter who has been consistent all year for an excellent Cyclone pitching staff also delivered a shutout inning.

Se-up pitcher Jeremy Mizell, who has been dynamite in the bullpen in allowing only one earned run in 24 innings of work, also completed the triumvirate of Cyclones pitchers who pitched a perfect shutout inning.

Jason Jacobs had has wrestled the #1 catching job and has thrown out 9 of 26 would be basestealers. He went 0 for 1 with a strikeout.

The last Cyclones all-star wasn't even on the Mets roster when spring training started way back in February.

Luis Rivera, the Puerto Rico native was in Peoria, the single A team of the Chicago Cubs and struggled the first month of April. After going only 2 for 25, the Cubs quickly released him and by mid-June,signed with the Cyclones.

The shortstop has been a revelation by hitting .295 and has been a steady presence in the field.

"I've been playing well, I've been working hard and that's why I am going to the all-star game," Rivera said

"Last year I did good, and this year I started good but I wasn't playing every day. I hit 2 for 25 and they released me for no reason. They gave me the opportunity, I always work hard and I knew I was going to find time here."

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