Hawkins headlines combined no-hitter in Brooklyn

W.F. West alum making strides in minor leagues


Every time that a fan goes to a ballpark, they have the chance to see something they’ve never seen before.

Fans of the Brooklyn Cyclones, the High-A Affiliate of the New York Mets, witnessed history last Tuesday, when Dakota Hawkins, Joey Lancellotti, and Joshua Cornielly combined to throw the franchise’s first nine-inning no-hitter in a 3-0 win over the Aberdeen IronBirds.

Hawkins, a 2018 W.F. West graduate, got the start on the mound and pitched the first five innings. He walked one and struck out two while facing the minimum.

“Being a part of that was special,” Hawkins said. “Every day, you try to come to the field to do something special.”

What made the outing extra unique was that Francisco Alvarez was behind the plate catching that night.

Alvarez is a 22-year-old catcher from Venezuela, and he has already played 144 games with the Mets in the Majors. He’s only in Brooklyn on a rehab assignment working his way back from a thumb injury.

“It’s unfortunate that he’s here on a rehab assignment, you know, nobody wants to see big leaguers get hurt,” Hawkins said. “But at the same time, it’s also pretty cool that I got the chance to pitch to him … Having his knowledge and how he plays the game, it made the whole day pitching just a lot better.”

Hawkins is currently in the middle of his first full professional baseball season, as he signed as an undrafted free agent with the Mets last July after a five-year college career that included two years at Lower Columbia College and three years at Washington State University.

Last summer, he threw a pair of innings in the Florida Complex League Mets, the team’s rookie-level affiliate, and he threw six innings across three outings with the St. Lucie Mets, the organization's Low-A affiliate.

He has spent this season in Brooklyn, where he’s posted a 3.35 ERA and struck out 42 batters in 37.2 innings across 14 appearances.

Hawkins credited his coaches at LCC and WSU for helping him get to the point where he could even play professionally, and he says right now, it’s about continuing to hone his skills against high-level competition.

“Everybody’s really good,” Hawkins said. “A lot of them are young, kids that have played college ball and are still working their way up … It’s a little bit more of a jump than college.”

Another difference between the college game and professional ball is the schedule. In college, more often than not, teams play three-game sets on the weekends with the occasional midweek matinee mixed in.

In the minor leagues, teams play six-game series from Tuesday-Sunday, leaving Monday as the only off-day.

Hawkins has been pitching twice a week, though he did note that he may be bumped down to one start a week with some upcoming changes to the starting rotation.

With the constant roster change and uncertainty of the minor leagues, he says he has focused on developing a routine that will allow him to still have the time away from the game.

“We get so caught up in being professionals and playing six games a week and not being able to find time for stuff for yourself,” Hawkins said. “But being able to do that is definitely gonna help save the mental aspect of the game.”

In his latest outing on Sunday, Hawkins pitched four innings, allowing three hits and one earned run while walking one and striking out one.