2009-08-07 / Sports

Cyclones Bats Bounce Back After Mid-Season Struggles

By Elio Velez

Brooklyn Cyclones manager Pedro Lopez is a patient man in the dugout. He vocally supports his players and has been able to lead the Cyclones to first place in the New York Penn League this season.

But Lopez also knows that there are times when he must address his concerns on where the team might be heading.

The Cyclones 7-0 loss on August 3 at Keyspan Park to Hudson Valley gave him the perfect opportunity to let his feeling known.

The Cyclones have struggled to find a sense of consistency of after blazing to a 16-2 start. Their pitching staff has been at times superb, ranking third in team ERA. But as the pitchers began to tail off, the Cyclones offense, which provided timely hits during their explosive start as faded as well. The Cyclones offense ranks in the lower half of team batting, runs and RBI.

Lopez felt that there were concerns to be addressed, which is why he spoke to the team in the clubhouse for 30 minutes after the game.

"I think it's a combination of trying to hard and then at times, the mental approach not being there that's some of these things these kids have to learn. I've always said that this is a learning process," Lopez said.

"I think we're going through that phase right. We were doing so well. I think everything came too easy early in the season. Now we're just running in to a bit of problems. It's a true moment."

The Cyclones looked energized on Tuesday after they took a seven hour bus ride to upstate Batavia.

The Brooklyn offense went on to explode in a 15-11 victory over the last place Muckdogs. On Wednesday, Brooklyn held on to defeat Batavia, 6- 4, to improve to an overall record of 30- 17 in the McNa-mara Division. The Cyclones are the only minor league team in the New York Mets organization to have a winning record.

At presstime, Staten Island remains in second place by four games and Hudson Valley trails by six games.

The Cyclones hitters in the middle of the order did well in Batavia. Infielder Luis Rivera went 3 for 5 in the 15-11 victory over Batavia. He and improved his average to a team leading .319 and is tops in RBI with 26. 1B Sam Honeck responded well after slumping below .300 by driving in 3 RBI in two games against Batavia.

Starting pitcher Mark Cohoon leads the team in victories with 6, and Colin McHugh is second with 5. Michael Powers lead the team in saves with 10.

Eigsti Returns Again

A familiar face returned to Brooklyn for the fourth straight year as IF Jake Eigsti makes another appearance on the Keyspan Park diamond.

A steady infielder who can play all four positions, Eigsti was brought back to Brooklyn to stabilize the infield. Second round pick Robbie Shields has struggled mightily with the bat as the shortstop has only hit .155 in 71 at bats and IF Luis Nieves has also struggled in hitting a paltry .142 in 106 at bats.

Eigsti has bounced around the Mets' minor league system, traveling as high up as AA Binghamton, before making stops at Single A Port St. Lucie and Savannah. He was told by the Mets his latest stint in a Cyclones uniform will be brief.

"They told me I'm here to help the team and we're in first place," Eigsti said last Monday night. "I enjoy playing in front of this good crowd, this atmosphere and it's great to be back."

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