2010-09-03 / Sports

Division Champions Cyclones Looking Forward To Playoffs

By Elio Velez

As relief pitcher Hamilton Bennett was recovering from a three week case of pneumonia, his Brooklyn Cyclones teammates were continuing to take care of business on the field.

It’s been another record breaking season for the Coney Island ballclub. The Cyclones clinched the New York Penn League McNamara Division on August 28 with a victory at the Connecticut Tigers and combined with a loss by the second place Aberdeen Ironbirds.

Bennett had heard the confirmation of the Aberdeen loss on the bus ride back to the hotel that night from teammate AJ Pinera. His reaction was a bit muted, which was similar the rest of the team.

Just winning a division is the least on their minds. Claiming the 2010 Penn League championship is the most important thing.

“That’s not our goal. We want to make the playoffs but our main goal is to win the league,” Bennett said.

Brooklyn has a record of 48-23 at presstime, and can clinch the best record, along with home field advantage in the playoffs this weekend. Tri-City will arrive this weekend at MCU Park to play the final three games of the regular season.

The ValleyCats will be looking to win this weekend. They are first place in the Stedler Divison by only a half game against Connecticut and a game and half over Vermont.

Bennett has become a popular figure on the team due to his friendly personality and the shapely mustache he grew. The organization honored his facial exploits by creating a Hamilton Bennett Mustache Mayhem Night on August 31.

“We’re in the playoffs, which is good good, but now we can start our real goals,” Bennett said. “Wally has been preaching 4 little goals, but the main goal is to win the Penn League.” Cyclones manager Wally Backman is looking to rest some players in the next few days like outfielders Cory Vaughn and Darrell Ceciliani, who enoucntered a slight tweak of his groin the other day. The injury is not serious, but it gives Backman an opportunity to gives some players a chance to finish the season strong.

“We’re going to try to give some guys a rest. They’ve been the grind all season long, but it’s still not time for them to get a few days off,” Backman said after the Cyclones split a doubleheader against Vermont on Wednesday night.

“We got to try to keep everybody in shape and keep them in the right frame of mind.”

The Cyclones will begin their best 2 out of 3 divisional playoff round on the road Tuesday night. They will take on the wild card, which could be Williamsport or Jamestown, before hosting Game 2 on Wednesday and possible Game 3 the next night at MCU Park.

The first game of Penn League championship could start on September 10 or September 11.

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