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Brooklyn Cyclones Game 8-04-06

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Martin and Company Scorch Valley Cats 9-5


 By Patrick Hickey Jr

Martin's hot hitting continued again tonight

BROOKLYN, NY- Looking to tie a franchise record for consecutive victories with a win tonight, the Brooklyn Cyclones bats, powered by Dustin Martin and Joe Holden would pummel the Tri-City Valley Cats bullpen, getting six runs in the fourth inning, leading to a 9-5 win.


Up until recently, playing at home didn’t exactly feel that way for the Cyclones, as they have proven to be an extremely confident team on the road, going 17-7 in games played away from Keyspan Park, compared to a sub par 9-10 at home. However, during their current 12-game winning streak, five of those wins have come in front of the Coney Island faithful; reenergizing the same fans that just a few weeks ago were concerned the boys from Brooklyn didn’t have the firepower needed to win anymore.


“The crowd [at Keyspan] was just waiting for something to happen,” said BCR Cyclones play by play announcer Lucky Ngamwajasat. “They were just waiting for something to cheer for. It’s great now that the bats are alive and now the crowd is terrific.”


While still hitting only .235 as a team, the Cyclones have been swinging hot bats lately, scoring five or more runs in their past eleven games. Seemingly empowered by the red-hot hitting of Dustin Martin, who has an amazing .425 on-base percentage to go along with a robust .324 batting average, Brooklyn’s pitching staff has gotten better as well, lowering its team ERA to 3.00 despite the loss of bullpen mainstays Joe Smith and Tim Haines.


“I have a good bunch of kids that are really receptive and want to get better,” said Cyclones pitching coach Hector Berrios. “They’ve been doing everything we’ve asked of them.”


Tonight Nelson Portillo would get the call for Brooklyn, trying to replicate the success he had last week, when he earned NY-Penn League pitcher of the week honors. Unfortunately, Portillo never found his groove, giving up four runs in 2.1 innings before being replaced by Jeremy Mizell with runners on first and second. Thankfully for the 9,066 fans in attendance, Mizell would then get Valley Cats designated hitter Jhon Florentino to fly out and end the inning with the Valley Cats up 4-0.


The Cyclones bats wouldn’t awaken until the fourth, when a Mark Wright single would score Ivan Naccarata, who reached earlier in the inning on a double, cutting the Valley Cats lead to 4-1. Tim Grogan would add his first of three RBI’s on the night, singling home a run and after a Joe Holden single with the bases-loaded, Brooklyn was back in the game, tying the score at 4-4 with two outs.


With the Keyspan faithful on their side, screaming louder than they have all season, the Cyclones weren’t  finished putting runs on the board in the fourth. A Dustin Martin RBI triple would send two more runners home, putting the finishing touches on a five-hit, six-run inning, terrorizing Valley Cats reliever Casey Hudspeth, putting the Mets Single-A affiliate ahead 6-4.


Despite giving up his first earned run of the season in the seventh, Mizell would keep the Cyclones in the game and Rip Warren could coast through the eighth. A Wright sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh would give Brooklyn their two-run lead back and after Grogan doubled in two more runs, the Valley Cats were forced to score four runs in the last two innings of play in order to come up with a win.


German Marte, a recent importee from Hagerstown, would make his first appearance at Keyspan this season and would shut the door for Brooklyn in the ninth, getting the Valley Cats in order, notching his first save as a Cyclone and giving the team a whopping 12-game winning streak, tying a franchise record.


After starting off their season 0-7, the Cyclones have somehow found a way to win consistently and now find themselves in first place, riding a 12-game winning streak with a chance to set a team record with another victory tomorrow.


“We’ve won 12 games in a row; this is huge,” said Martin. “We’re playing great as a team. We have great team chemistry right now and everyone’s picking each other up.”

All Photographs for this article were taken by Conroy Walker

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