Cyclones take opening series and head to the shore 

After losing three straight games to open the season on the road in Wilmington, the Cyclones came back to Coney Island for their home opener for their first win of the season on a strong pitching performance. With three pitchers striking out 14 Asheville batters, the Cyclones were able to supply enough runs for a 4-1 win to send their fans home happy.

“I decided that I had to change the team’s mojo,” said now beardless strength and conditioning coach Trent McMaster after the team’s first win. “I kept the mustache, but I figured the beard had to go to help us get on track.”

Apparently McMaster’s razor did the trick as the Cyclones took four of their six games to win their home series. In fact, over that six-game series, Brooklyn’s pitchers struck out 72 batters over 50 innings at a rate of 48 percent for outs. 

Cyclones DH Mateo Gil returns to the high-fives of his teammates after hitting a solo home run in the third inning.

After coming off a successful opening home series, the 4-5 Cyclones left for Lakewood to play the Jersey Shore Blue Claws, a team that was Brooklyn’s nemesis all last season.  Looking for a win to start the series, the Cyclones started top pitching prospect Brandon Sprout, who had previously opened for the team in Coney Island. Sprout, who was a part of the team’s 14-strikeout performance, was looking for his first win of the season, having recorded a no-decision at Coney Island. 

In a game that has handed-down rituals, traditions and superstitions, all of Sprout’s pitching teammates stood behind him in a show of solidarity as he threw his warm-up pitches from the mound in the bullpen.  After completing his warm-up, his fellow pitchers then marched behind Sprout and catcher Christian Pregent down to the dugout for the rest of the team’s good luck “high-fives.” Sprout stayed effective for four innings, but a win was not in the cards for the former Florida Gator. 

The Cyclones took the early lead on Mateo Gil’s third inning solo home run to left field. The Blue Claws tied the game 1-1 in the fourth inning on a Leandro Pineda homer to right.  After four innings, Sprout left the game tied with another no-decision after striking out five batters. Sprout’s counterpart, lefthander Braeden Fausnaught, stayed on until the sixth inning and struck out nine Cyclones while giving up one run on two hits. The Blue Claws then added two more runs in the sixth on a fielder’s choice and an infield hit in the eighth for the 3-1 win.

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