Cyclones Hitters Warming Up With The Weather In Brooklyn

Published on: 11th July, 2010

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Cyclones Hitters Warming Up With The Weather In Brooklyn  | read this item

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Brooklyn – As the parent club New York Mets continues to struggle to score runs lately, perhaps they should look downward at their farm team out in Coney Island, where the Brooklyn Cyclones sport a lineup of offensive-minded young hitters who enjoy nothing more than hitting the ball as hard and as far as they can.

Tonight’s game, against the State College Spikes, the Single A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates was another case in point of how Wally Backman’s crew can dominate games by swinging their bats against overmatched pitching as the Cyclones won their 12th game of the season with a 9-3 whipping of the Spikes.

Among their 13 hits were four home runs and six doubles and there wasn’t a cheap hit amongst the bunch.

Corey Vaughn, the son of former major leaguer, Greg Vaughn, seems to be continuing on the path of his power-hitting father. Vaughn hit two home runs tonight, one in the first inning and the next, a 400 foot bomb down the left field line in the seventh to put the Cyclones ahead, 8-3. He now has six home runs for the season in just 84 at-bats, a very high home run to at-bat ratio of one every 14 at-bats.

Other standouts tonight included left fielder Kurt Steinhauer, who unloaded for yet, another Brooklyn homer in the eighth inning, and the second baseman James Schroeder, who pounded out three doubles.

Like most Backman-managed teams, the Brooklyn pitchers were outstanding. Left-throwing Chris Hilliard started and went the first six innings, allowing the three Spikes runs while striking out four. He walked just one batter, a rare show of control for young, Single-A pitchers.

The Cyclones bullpen shut out the Spikes the rest of the way with Wes Wrenn and Adam Kolarek allowing no hits over the last three innings of the game. Kolarek, a hard-throwing lefthanded thrower, was particularly impressive as he closed out the game. By the very fact he’s a southpaw, the big club should automatically take great interest in this kid with a live arm.

Both starting pitchers, Hilliard and the Spikes’ Dodson, got off to rocky starts allowing two runs apiece in the first inning. While Hilliard settled down, allowing just one run over the next five innings, Dodson continued his struggles, lasting only into the third inning before being removed. Unfortunately, the Spikes bullpen couldn’t keep the game close as they gave up five more runs over the next five innings.

When asked after the game about how to evaluate when his young players are ready to be moved up to the next level of the Mets minor league system, Backman seemed reticent to lose his kids so fast, after just 20-odd games.

“There are a few kids here who have a chance to get to the majors but they are so young, now,” he said. “Let’s give kids like Darrelle Ceciliani and Vaughn a chance to work on some things, become more consistent. They need to learn how to recognize pitches a little better but the tools are all there.”

“We’ll know when it’s time to send them up,” Backman added.

The way this team can swing the bats, it appears that time is approaching sooner than expected.

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