BY JIM DOLAN
Still teetering at the .500 mark with a 26-26 record, the Cyclones have managed to keep their heads above water to move up to second place finally, just one game behind the (26-24) first-place Aberdeen Iron Birds. For the most part, pitching has been responsible for the team’s buoyancy as the returning Gavin Cecchini hitting an overall .282 has recently provided a boost to the Cyclone offense.
After being out for the month of July with an ankle sprain, the recently-turned 20-year-old Cecchini has returned on a 10-game hitting streak hitting .381 (16-42).
Besides supplying a welcome spark to the Cyclone offense, the Lake Charles, Louisiana native has solidified the infield at shortstop along with All Star second baseman L. J. Mazzilli who remains the Cyclones leading hitter at .303.
On his successful return to play, Cecchini commented, “I know that I am a good hitter; it’s about believing in yourself.” Handling the tedium of down time while rehabbing, Cecchini explained, “You just have to watch the game each day and continue to learn, and listen to the coaching staffing.
“Some things you can’t control but you have control of the mental part of the game,” stated Cecchini as the key for a successful career. “I love this game; I will always push myself to do better.”
Cecchini’s push for success was most evident in a recent key home game where he knocked the winning run across the plate with a RBI single, beating State College 2-1 to put the Cyclones into second place of the McNamara Division.
Earning his fourth win of the season in that same 2-1 State College win, right-handed All Star pitcher John Gant (4-2 ERA 2.36) gave up no hits on seven strikeouts over six innings before giving up two hits and one run.
After earning his fourth win of the season, Gant now ranks first in the New York Penn League with 61 strikeouts going into the All Star break.