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Cyclones not looking to be “Saved by the Bell”

With the first week of the season completed, the Cyclones have shown that they are looking to answer the bell instead of being “saved by bell” after taking first place in the New York Penn League’s McNamara Division with a record of 6-3 to begin their 15th anniversary season in Brooklyn.

After meeting actor Dennis Haskins who played Principal Belding on the popular 1990s high school sitcom series “Saved by the Bell,” the Cyclones showed that they were ready “to stay after school” to get the job done in extra innings for Wednesday, June 24’s 2-1 win.

Playing their second extra-inning game within the span of a week, the hot-hitting Jeff Diehl sent a rocket to right center field for a triple that scored Michael Katz for the winning run to end the three and half hour marathon over Hudson Valley.

This season, there is an early buzz around the Cyclone clubhouse that a Penn League Championship is on the minds of players as a team goal. Prior to the season, Long Island pitcher Tyler Badamo verbalized about winning it all during a media session stating, “It’s been a long time [2001] that this team has won a championship and I want to help them bring that back to Brooklyn.”

After pitching a strong game for his first win of the season in a 14-0 win over Hudson Valley, Matt Blackman — who gave up no runs and three hits and had seven strikeouts over seven innings — also stated that thinking about a ring this early in the season is not out of the question.

In addition to pitching, the early season offense by Michael Bernal (.368), Tucker Tharp (.350) Jeff Diehl (.429) and Vinny Siena (.409) has provided timely hitting for the Cyclones to support their pitching staff. Although he’s started the season hitting under the “Mendoza Line,” Michael Katz recently found his stroke last Friday night, going two for three with a two-run homer to lift the Cyclones to a 4-1 win over the Connecticut Tigers.

“Overall, I’m happy with this group,” said Cyclone Manager Tom Gamboa.  “All the starters have been pretty solid so far, but our defense needs improvement which is last in the league. This is a real good group with a great work ethic. They’re going to be a fun team to mold over the course of this season.”

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