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Brooklyn Cyclones Game 8-22-06

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Despite Soler Dominance,

Coney Island Decline Continues With Seventh Straight Loss


By Patrick Hickey Jr

Soler's nine K's wouldn't be enough to get the Cyclones going

BROOKLYN, NY- Looking more like the team that started the 2006 season 0-7, the Brooklyn Cyclones committed four errors and failed to get a hit until the sixth inning, losing to the Hudson Valley Renegades 6-0.


Making a rehab start today, Mets starting pitcher Alay Soler would get the nod for the Cyclones and looked to be back on his game after suffering a right calf strain on July 1.


Giving up one run on a Matt Fields solo-homer and another on a RBI single by Joseph Callender in the second after a scoreless first, Soler wasn’t as sharp as Brooklyn would have liked, but he did manage to keep the Cyclones in the game, striking out nine Renegades in four plus innings of work.


“I thought he got better as the game went on,” said Cyclones manager George Greer. “I was really pleased with the way he threw the ball.”


 “As the game went on he started locating his fastball better,” said Cyclones catcher Danny Cummins. “That’s where most of the strikeouts were coming from.”


Unfortunately for the Mets Single-A Affiliate, the offense wouldn’t be able to duplicate its six run effort last night, as Hudson Valley Starter Matthew Falk, who struck out five Cyclones and kept a no-hitter going into the fourth inning before he was replaced by Brett Nagy in the fifth.


Nelson Portillo would replace Soler in the fourth with a runner on first and one out and wouldn’t be able to duplicate his success, giving up three runs on two hits, a walk, a suicide squeeze and a throwing error by Dustin Martin, giving the Renegades a 5-0 lead.


Greer felt that Portillo coming into the game in the fifth rather than starting had something to do with his erratic performance.


“That was his first experience doing that,” said Greer. “He’s 20-years old and eventually he may have to do that again, so it was a good experience for him.”


Portillo eventually settled down for the Cyclones, hurling three scoreless innings before giving up a monster solo homer that sailed over the scoreboard at Keyspan Park, stretching the Renegades lead to 6-0.


Nagy, however, would pitch effectively for the Renegades through the seventh inning despite losing the attempt at the combined no-hitter thanks to a bloop single by Jon Schemmel in the sixth.


The fans at Keyspan Park cheered mightily after Schemmel’s hit, but Brooklyn wouldn’t be able to amount any more offense, getting only a single from Dustin Martin in the ninth off Hudson Valley closer Neal Frontz, slamming the door shut on a 6-0 Cyclones loss.


“They were putting their off-speed stuff where they wanted,” said Cummins. “We were struggling.”


Due to Oneonta’s win last night, Brooklyn is still somehow tied for the wild-card in the NY-Penn League, despite seven consecutive losses. Trying to turn a negative into something the team can use to get themselves out of their current funk, Greer feels fortunate that the team is still in the playoff hunt.


“I think any time you lose this many games in a row and are still in a playoff spot, I think that’s very good,” said Greer. “We just have to find a way to get some hits and put the ball into play a little more. Hopefully, we’ll do it tomorrow.”

All Photographs for this article were taken by Conroy Walker

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