It may have been a 3-1 Brooklyn loss to the Hudson Valley Renegades, but it was a “coming out” game for Cyclones outfielder Joe Suozzi, the son of U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi.
Coming off the team’s development list, which is a designation for players needing more hitting instruction, Suozzi had a breakout night after being off for a week and a half. The Boston College graduate scored the Cyclones’ lone run with a long homer and made two “highlight reel” catches in the fourth and sixth innings to rob the Renegades of two possible triples in the right-field corner.
Facing Renegades pitcher Matt Sauer, who struck out nine over seven innings, Suozzi crushed his second home run of the season over the left-field fence to put the Cyclones on the board, 2-1, in the sixth.
“With that home run, Joe Suozzi is back!” said Cyclones broadcaster Keith Raad as Suozzi crossed the plate. Raad later said, “Suozzi has emerged from the developmental list with a strong response, reaching base in eight of his first 12 plate appearances to show the Brooklyn coaching staff that he belongs on the field.”
“Being on the development list was good for me,” Suozzi said. “I got really good instruction from two of the Mets’ hitting coaches and now I’m seeing the results.”
“Joe is an invaluable part of this team, especially in the clubhouse,” said Brooklyn bench coach Chris Newell. “He keeps all his teammates’ spirits up and interacts with everyone to keep the things moving. Someday if I’m managing a team, I’d look for Joe Suozzi to join my coaching staff because he relates to players so well.”
Suozzi continued his solid hitting on Sunday in the first game of a makeup doubleheader with Hudson Valley, going 2-for-2 with a walk in the 5-4 Cyclones win. Recent St. Lucie call-up Shervyen Newton hit his first home run and Brooklyn native Jaylen Palmer followed with his second.
In the second game, Newton and Palmer hit another pair of homers and the Cyclones won 3-1.