May 13, 2013
Cyclones handed losses in region sectionals
There was some fight left in the Cyclones at the NJCAA Region IV sectionals this past weekend (May 11), just not enough to advance them in the playoffs.
In the first matchup of the day, Moraine Valley faced conference rival Oakton Community College. With the wind blowing out, both teams racked up homeruns (including Joe Lyons) on what would otherwise be pop ups. Kyle DeVries hit an RBI double coming off the bench. The Cyclones kept the score close, only down 9-6 in the last inning with no outs and a man on first. A questionable call on a stolen base and subsequent outs at the plate sealed Moraine Valley’s fate.
After a tough loss, the Cyclones lost their drive in the second game of the tournament. Facing Black Hawk College was no easy task, as the Braves were on a 15-game win streak before meeting the Cyclones. Moraine Valley had a chance to win the game, down 6-5 at one point, but struggled to field a barrage of bunts. The small ball hurt the Cyclones in their 14-6 loss and finale to the season. Lyons had a 3-run homerun in the game.
May 6, 2013
Cyclones take two
If you look at the last 11 games of the season before playoffs, the Cyclones have gone 7-4, including two wins over baseball powerhouse Joliet Junior College. Their most recent win came May 4 against Morton College. Moraine Valley handled the Panthers easily in an 8-3 victory before splitting with College of DuPage on May 5. The Cyclones narrowly lost the first contest with Chaparrals 6-5 before the 7-4 win. Kevin Siergiej was the winning pitcher over Morton. Mike Habas had two hits and four RBIs against the Panthers. Dominick Paolella pitched a full game, giving up three earned runs in the 6-5 loss to College of DuPage. Mario Hernandez had two hits. In the 7-4 win, Mike Levigne earned the win while Habas was 3-for-4 at the plate.
May 2, 2013
Cyclones kick Wolves to the curb
It took just one inning for the Cyclones to light things up May 1 in their second win this season over typical powerhouse Joliet Junior College.
From the second inning the Cyclones led, but really opened it up in the fifth. With two outs and the Cyclones up 3-0, Joe Lyons jacked a double to score Mario Hernandez from first. Mike Habas came up to hit a double of his own to score Lyons. After a fumble by the Wolves’ thirdbaseman, Marc Hein got on base and advanced Habas. The Cyclones stayed alive when Kyle Belluomini hit a scorcher to third, who couldn’t pick it up, and scored Habas. A balk from the pitcher advanced the runners, but Moraine Valley ended the inning leading 6-0. They went on to win it 7-2.
Righty Bob Wilmsen was on fire on the mound throwing a complete game for the Cyclones. Habas ended with three hits, including two doubles. Hernandez had a standup RBI double in the third.
May 1, 2013
Cyclones bounced by Cavaliers
Always a thorn in their side, Kankakee Community College roughed up Moraine Valley April 30, shutting the Cyclones down 12-2.
The defense struggled all game, not giving any help to freshman Mike Levigne who battled with five strikeouts. Joseph Lyons had two hits in the outing and Mike Habas scored.
April 23, 2013
Cyclones take one
The Cyclones tacked on another split series April 22 in their final conference home game against College of Lake County.
Moraine Valley was hanging close to the Lancers until the fifth inning when some Cyclone errors and well-placed Lake County hits sealed the deal. Righty sophomore Bob Wilmsen gave up three runs in the 5-3 loss. Kenneth Wright was 1-for-3, hitting a tying RBI early in the game.
Wright helped the Cyclones start a scoring barrage in the second inning with an RBI single. Sophomore Mike Habas added to the hitting pursuit, going 3-for-4. Southpaw Michael Levigne earned the win in the 11-0 Cyclone victory.
April 22, 2013
Cyclones crush Olive-Harvey, Siergiej throws no-no
It was a Cyclone killing April 21 when Moraine Valley crushed Olive-Harvey College in a 20-0 victory. Kevin Siergiej pitched a complete no-hitter game. The big hitter for the matchup was Mike Habas, who had three hits and six ribis.
April 17, 2013
It’s splitsville for ’Clones
It was a split for the Cyclones April 16. After losing 8-7 to Morton College, which included a two-run homerun from Scott Petrovich, Moraine Valley stunted the Panthers in the nightcap 11-0. Michael Levigne pitched six scoreless innings for the win.
April 15, 2013
Cyclones take down Wolves
After a tough couple losses Saturday, the Cyclones had a solid outing on April 14, earning an 11-2 win over the 2012 national champions, Joliet Junior College.
Righty sophomore Kevin Siergiej threw eight innings, giving up just two runs. Scott Petrovich hit two doubles, driving in three while Mario Hernandez had three hits.
April 14, 2013
Cyclones shut down
This is a series the Cyclones would rather forget. In their doubleheader April 13 against Oakton Community College, Moraine Valley couldn’t find their game, dropping both games in shutout performances. Errors all around and silent bats hurt the Cyclones in a 7-0 and 12-0 loss. Mario Hernandez had two hits the first game while Kyle Belluomini had two in the second.
April 10, 2013
Errors hurt ’Clones
Coming off a five-game win streak, the Cyclones were ready to face their next opponent. However, some costly errors kept Moraine Valley down April 9 in a sweep by Waubonsee Community College.
Both games went into extra innings as the Cyclones let leads slip from their fingers. Up 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh, a ground ball fielding error allowed the Chiefs to tie the game before scoring the winning run in the eighth. Righty Jeremy Vandergriff threw the entire game. Mario Hernandez hit a three-run homerun in the matchup.
For the second game, Michael Levigne was strong on the mound for 5 1/3 innings, striking out five. Poor fielding by both teams jacked up the run count. But with the Cyclones up by six runs in the sixth inning, errant fielding cost four runs and two more in the bottom of the seventh to tie things at 10. The Cyclones gave up a run in the bottom of the ninth for the loss. Kenneth Wright had a good night with a double and two RBIs.
April 8, 2013
'Clones clean house
The brooms were out as the Cyclones cleaned house this weekend while scoring a collective 46 runs. In two doubleheaders, Moraine Valley made some last minute heroics to pull out wins over Elgin Community College April 6 before destroying Illinois Valley Community College on April 7 at home.
There were some close calls against the Spartans with Dominick Paolella earning the win for both games. The back and forth scoring by each team meant anyone could have won, but a walk-off single by Kyle Belluomini to score Daniel Kenealy in the bottom of the seventh inning gave Moraine Valley the 8-7 edge. The Cyclones kept things interesting in the nightcap. Scott Petrovich tied things up in the bottom of the seventh with a three-run triple before Kenneth Wright singled him in for the 15-14 win.
There was nothing but offense for the Cyclones in their sweep of Illinois Valley. Right-hander Joel Cordova and southpaw Jay Justin Luzzi each had their first starts and wins of their college careers. Mike Habas tripled and Brandon Martinez had three hits for the first shutout of the season, a 10-0 win. Illinois Valley had little left for the second game, which the Cyclones won 13-3 in five innings.
“I’m extremely proud of my guys for not quitting after a rough start,” said head coach Cole Farmer.
April 5, 2013
It’s a split for the Cyclones
The bats were alive April 4 when the Cyclones split two with Triton College. In a first game 15-2 loss, freshman Kenneth Wright was the bright spot, going 2-for-2. By the second game, the Cyclones regained strength at the plate for a 19-6 win. Wright was 2-for-2 with three RBIs while Kyle Belluomini went 3-for-5.
April 3, 2013
’Clones take a hit
The Cyclones took another hit April 2 with a couple of losses to Prairie State College. Once again Moraine Valley started strong, battling in the first game but coming up short, 8-6. Brandon Martinez had two hits in the game. Righty Dominick Paolella pitched a complete game in the 4-1 nightcap loss, giving up just one earned run.
April 2, 2013
Former Cyclone named ‘Summit League Pitcher of the Week’
Former Cyclones pitcher Brian Loconsole is making news again. The Western Illinois University righty was named ‘Summit League Pitcher of the Week’ after picking up two saves against the University of Michigan last weekend. Loconsole has five saves on the year, tying the single season record for the Leathernecks. He pitched at Moraine Valley during the 2010 season.
Cyclones drop two
There was no foolin’ this April 1 when the Cyclones dropped two at home to McHenry County College. Moraine Valley fought through the first game, losing 8-7. Scott Petrovich showed some aggression on the bags, stealing twice. Bob Wilmsen pitched a solid complete game in the night cap, but earned the 5-1 loss.
April 1, 2013
Cyclones denied by Cavaliers
Moraine Valley always has their work cut out for them when facing Kankakee Community College. This past weekend was no different. In two separate meetings, the Cyclones dropped three to the Cavaliers.
Dominick Paolella was the bright spot in the 10-1 loss on March 29. He pitched well, giving up just three runs. The two teams met again for a doubleheader March 31 with the Cyclones holding on to a tie going into the eighth inning. Freshman Kyle Belluomini pitched 5 2/3 strong innings, giving up three runs. Errors were the culprit in the ultimate 5-1 loss. With several key players missing, the Cyclones faded in the second game, falling 12-1. Mario Hernandez went 1-for-5.
March 28, 2013
Tough first outing for ’Clones
In a season already beset by poor weather and several canceled games, the Cyclones were able to squeeze in their first official outing on March 27. Despite a scrappy effort, Moraine Valley fell just short in a 4-3 loss to South Suburban College. Jeremy Vandergriff pitched six solid innings, giving up three and striking out five.
March 18, 2013
Cyclones regroup after spring training
A long winter indoors made an already anxious Cyclones squad ready for their spring training trip March 10-14 in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Despite the 1-7 start, the Cyclones had some close games and have pre-season action under their belt.
For their first game outside since the fall, the Cyclones lost 9-7 to Western Technical College (Wis.). Co-captain Mike Habas went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, Marc Hein went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and Scott Petrovich was 2-for-2 with an RBI.
In an 11-8 loss to North Arkansas College, freshman Kenneth Wright scored a run and went 1-for-3. Southpaw Michael Levigne pitched six and a third innings giving up just three earned runs.
Their lone win came in a 12-6 beating of Western Technical College. Big hitters at the plate included Oak Lawn product Alex Krupa (2-for-3), Mario Hernandez (2-for-4) and Petrovich (3-for-3 with two runs and three RBIs). Sophomore Noel Sanders pitched two scoreless innings while Dominick Paolella earned the win.
In their second meeting with North Arkansas, the Cyclones lost some steam and fell 9-3. Darin Bach scored a run, going 1-for-2 while Hein scored a run hitting 1-for-3. Bob Wilmsen pitched a complete game, giving up four earned runs.
Moraine Valley lost 9-1 and 11-3 to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, a team that had already played 15 games since February. In the first matchup, freshman Kyle Belluomini went 1-for-2 and Wright went 1-for-3. Habas and Bach each scored a run in the second game.
To wrap up a tough trip, the Cyclones dropped two to Crowder College (Mo.), 19-9 and 8-2. Joseph Lyons went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Habas was 2-for-4 with three RBIs. In game two Hein was 2-for-4 and Wright walked, going 1-for-2.
Barring the weather, the Cyclones are scheduled to play their season opener on March 20 at South Suburban College.
March 4, 2013
New coach, new attitude ready for 2013
Whatever happened in the 2012 baseball season is in the past. New head coach Cole Farmer is bringing a new style and attitude to the Cyclones squad and rebuilding a winning mentality in 2013.
Farmer served as assistant coach last season and was hired in fall 2012 to take the helm of a young squad. He played ball at the College of DuPage and Evangel University in addition to coaching Springfield Catholic High School to the final four and working as an instructor at Extra Innings indoor training center. Not only does Farmer intend to emphasize aggressiveness and encourage players to make sound decisions on the field, but he also wants them to adapt a winning mentality and help them get recruited by four-year colleges and universities.
“We need to play hard all the time. In the offseason we’ve taken baseball for granted, and I won’t let that fly. We’re getting the winning mentality back at Moraine Valley. Last year we had more individual goals, not working as much in a team mindset,” Farmer said.
With young players and five transfers, the Cyclones have their work cut out for themselves, but a few guys will help lead the way. Sophomore infielder Mike Habas (Homewood-Flossmoor) has a strong work ethic and is integral to the team camaraderie. With an improved swing, he’ll lead the offensive attack. Sophomore Darin Bach (Louisiana) will be a leader for the infield which includes resilient freshmen Alex Krupa (Oak Lawn) and Brandon Martinez (Sandburg). Freshman outfielder Kenneth Wright (Indiana) is a solid power hitter and a threat on the base path with his speed. Sophomore right-hander Dominick Paolella (Lincoln-Way North) gained 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason and worked hard to join the starting pitching rotation.
“Physically, we are ready to play, but it’ll be a challenge since we haven’t been able to go outside yet,” Farmer said.
Farmer is joined this season by assistant coach Alain Quijano, who coached at Grand View University and Iowa Wesleyan College in addition to pitching professionally, including with the 2008 championship Windy City Thunderbolts.
The Cyclones start the season with a spring training trip to Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, March 10-16, before their first game March 20 against South Suburban College. Their home-opener is March 28 at 2:30 p.m. against Highland Community College.
February 21, 2013
Former Cyclones pitcher earns big save at Western
Former Cyclones pitcher Brian Loconsole earned the save on Feb. 17 for Western Illinois University as the Leathernecks upset No. 1-ranked University of Arkansas 7-5. This was the first time Western has defeated a No. 1 team in the country. Loconsole threw the final 1 2/3 innings not giving up hits or runs. He played for the Cyclones during the 2010 season under former head coach Tom Radz. "It is exciting to see our former Cyclones athletes competing at the NCAA's top level, especially knocking off the No. 1 ranked baseball team," said Bill Finn, Moraine Valley Athletics director.