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Cyclones

Matt Oberste has certainly made the most of his 42 hits for Brooklyn this summer, ranking second on the team in RBIs despite a .206 batting average and a .245 on-base percentage.

The seventh-round pick out of the University of Oklahoma once again displayed his penchant for saving his best for when the Cyclones need him most Tuesday night at Coney Island's MCU Park.

Between an injury that cost him all but eight games in July and an otherwise mediocre second professional season when he was at full health, Brooklyn Cyclones shortstop Gavin Cecchini was suddenly looking like a reach as the Mets' first-round pick (12th overall) in the 2012 MLB Draft.

But then came August.

The 19-year-old prospect, whose dad is a legendary baseball coach in Louisiana and whose older brother Garin is working his way up in the Red Sox's organization, remained steadfast in his belief that things would turn around for him this year.

John Mincone squandered LJ Mazzilli's chance for a happy homecoming.

The Cyclones' left-hander reliever yielded two runs, including a game-tying solo homer, in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday night at Norwich's Dodd Stadium as the NL All-Stars suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 loss to their AL rivals in the New York-Penn League's annual Late-Summer Classic.

Mazzilli, the son of former Mets great Lee Mazzilli and a Connecticut native, had helped spark the junior circuit to a 3-2 lead in the top of the eighth inning.

Mired in the McNamara Division cellar for the better part of June and July, the Brooklyn Cyclones have refused to give up the fight for their third consecutive playoff berth under manager Rich Donnelly.

The Baby Bums displayed that never-say-die moxie again Wednesday night at MCU Park, battling back from behind three times before pulling out a 4-3 victory over the visiting Connecticut Tigers before 7,522 Brooklyn baseball fanatics.

Rich Donnelly intimated just last summer that All-Star Games weren't exactly his thing.

“To tell you the truth, I’m not a big fan of All-Star Games during the season because they're exhibition games," Donnelly admitted last August before shipping four of his hurlers -- Luis Mateo, Hansel Robles, John Mincone and Gabriel Ynoa -- to the New York-Penn League's annual late-summer classic at Mahoning Valley's Eastwood Field.

These "colts" apparently needed a little more breaking.

But thanks to the patient, unwavering guidance of manager Rich Donnelly, the 2013 Brooklyn Cyclones finally appear to be hitting their stride just in time for the stretch run.

Carlos Valdez pitched six strong innings, Akeel Morris logged the final three frames and Matt Oberste continued Brooklyn's recent power surge with a solo homer as the Baby Bums extended their season-high winning streak to five games with a 4-0 victory over first-place Hudson Valley on Monday night before 6,328 fans at Coney Island's MCU Park.

Any team with playoff aspirations -- especially one stuck in last place -- needs an ace to lead it back into serious contention.

For the Brooklyn Cyclones, Miller Diaz has suddenly emerged as that ace.

The hard-throwing Venezuelan right-hander earned New York-Penn League Pitcher of the Week honors after Saturday's sparkling five-inning effort in a much-needed 3-0 victory over visiting Batavia in front of 6,354 rain-soaked fans at Coney Island's MCU Park.

While LJ Mazzilli and Gavin Cecchini have received much of the attention thus far this summer on Coney Island, Cyclones first baseman Matt Oberste is emerging as one of Brooklyn's most reliable everyday players.

The native Oklahoman drove that point home Monday night as the Cyclones pulled out a dramatic 5-4, 12-inning victory over the Connecticut Tigers before 1,974 fans at Dodd Stadium.

Bensonhurst native John Franco was a four-time All-Star during a career spanning three decades as a Major League reliever.

That's why it's only fitting that the Mets Hall of Famer will be leading the pack, so to speak, when "Team Franco" participates in Saturday's MLB All-Star Game 5K & Fun Run throught Prospect Park benefitting Hurricane Sandy Relief.

It had to happen sometime.

After playing a perfect second base for the first three weeks of his professional career, LJ Mazzilli committed a pair of fielding errors Tuesday afternoon as the Brooklyn Cyclones saw their season-high winning streak snapped at three games with a 5-2 loss to Lowell before 5,886 fans at Coney Island's newly renovated MCU Park.

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