Coney Island

Cyclones take first place but lose two pitchers

August 12, 2022 Jim Dolan
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“We’re competitors now,” said Cyclones manager Luis Rivera as he stood on the dugout steps before a game against Winston-Salem. “From now on we’re focusing on winning our division and beating out Hudson Valley for first place.”

After the mid-season break two weeks ago, the Cyclones were the hottest team in the South Atlantic League’s North Division, winning seven out of nine road games and taking first place from the Hudson Valley Renegades. But an emotionally deflated team dropped the first two games of a six-game homestand against the Winston-Salem Dash.

Dominic Hamel pitched five scoreless innings against Winston-Salem. Photos by Jim Dolan

A trade cast a pall over the clubhouse before the start of the series when two popular team leaders were included in the Mets’ four-player deal for San Francisco Giants first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf. Lefthander Nick Zwack (5-1) was the South Atlantic League’s June Pitcher of the Month, and up-and-coming righthander Carson Seymour recently followed up an 11-strikeout game with 10 strikeouts in his next start. 

Once the shock wore off, the two friends found consolation in knowing they’d still be together on the Giants’ High Single-A team in Eugene, Oregon. And the Cyclones bounced back in their third game against Winston-Salem. Dominic Hamel, the Mets’ No. 9 prospect, broke the malaise with five scoreless innings in the 5-1 win. Last year’s third-round draft pick gave up one hit and two walks and struck out seven. 

After splitting the homestand, the first-place Cyclones headed to Wilmington with a half-game lead over Hudson Valley.


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