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How sweep it is! Cyclones take two from hated Yanks

for The Brooklyn Paper
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There is joy in Metville once more: The Brooklyn Cyclones swept their two-game, rain-shortened opening weekend series from the hated Staten Island Yankees, reigniting a cross-Narrows rivalry just as intense as the big-league Subway Series.

A sellout crowd of 9,284 cheered as the Coney Island Nine rode Collin McHugh’s strong start to a 6–2 win in last Friday’s home opener.

Then, after Saturday’s match up in Staten Island was rained out, the Li’l Amazin’s thumped the Baby Bombers, 5–2, on Sunday, though the game was called in the middle of the sixth inning after a series of showers had turned Keyspan Park’s infield into a mud puddle.

Returning Cyclone John Servidio powered the offense in both games, going 3-for-7 with a homer and three runs in the leadoff spot.

“I’m a lot more prepared than last season, and I’m used to wood bats now,” said the right fielder, who hit just .239 with three dingers in 40 games last season.

Servidio’s home run — a towering shot that sailed over the left-field wall — came at a crucial moment in Friday’s game.

After the Yankees scored first in the third, the Cyclones took advantage of two infield errors and a balk in the bottom of the inning to jump ahead, 3–1.

But McHugh ran out of gas in the fifth, walking a batter, hitting another and uncorking a wild pitch, allowing Staten Island to pull within a run.

The Yankees couldn’t build on that momentum, however. Servidio homered to lead off the bottom half of the inning, and the Cyclones never looked back. McHugh (five innings, two runs, five hits, five strikeouts) hit the showers, and returning relievers Matias Carrillo and Michael Powers closed out the Yankees with four scoreless innings.

“It was great to get a win under our belt, especially against Staten Island,” said McHugh, whose parents flew up from Georgia to watch him win his Brooklyn debut on his 22nd birthday.

In Sunday’s game, “Serv” — as Servidio’s coaches call him — led off with a hard double down the left-field line and scored the Clones’ first run, sparking an eight-hit attack.

Brooklyn starter Mark Cohoon (five innings, four hits, two runs, both on solo shots) and reliever Samuel Martinez combined for seven strikeouts, and first baseman Sam Honeck delivered the rain-shortened evening’s big blow, a two-out, two-run single in the second that snapped a 2–2 tie.

Servidio’s strong series was just what some Cyclone fans were craving. Indeed, a bevy of Brooklyn babes waited for him after Friday’s game.

Did chicks dig the long ball?

“No, they’re friends of mine,” said the slugger with a laugh.

Updated 5:13 pm, July 9, 2018: Collin McHugh is a Cyclone pitcher, not picture.
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