STATEN ISLAND, NY – The Tri-City Valley Cats, the NY-Penn League affiliate of the Houston Astros, rolled into Staten Island to face the hometown Yankees for a two game set on the Island.
The Valley Cats came into the game having beat the Yankees on Friday night by a final score of 5-2. The Yankees looked to defend their own home and rebound by sending the 21 year old David Palladino to the mound.
The opening few innings were not that great for the young starter. The Valley Cats managed to threaten twice in the first two innings and Palladino seemed rattled with many of his pitches missing the strike zone resulting in two walks through the first three.
The Valley Cats eventually broke through in the top of the third scoring to go up a run over Staten Island. Nick Tanielu drove in Jason Martin with an RBI single to center, his 37th RBI of the season.
Some pitchers get better as the game goes on and they settle into their position on the mound. Sadly for the Yankees, Palladino was not one of those pitchers. Two more walks in the fourth inning and a two-run homerun by Alfredo Gonzalez pushed the Valley Cat lead up to three to nil over Staten Island in that frame.
The Staten Island Yankees could get nothing going though to support their pitcher, in sharp contrast to their counterparts across the field. Valley Cats starter Joe Musgrove showed why he is the owner of a 5-1 record. Over his six innings of work he only yielded one hit, with no walks, and struck out four.
The Staten Island defense, while by no means perfect, bailed out their pitching more than once and included an impressive double play by centerfielder Colin Slaybaugh who caught a fly ball off the bat of the Valley Cat’s Ariel Ovando in the sixth. A sharp throw to the plate nailed Jose Solano as he tried to tag up. The double play saved the Yankees from dropping even further into a scoring pit.
While the Yankees were not able to do anything against Joe Musgrove, the offense wanted to get to work against the Valley Cat bullpen. All- Star second baseman Ty McFarland crushed a homerun in the bottom of the seventh to cut Tri-City’s lead to three to one. A bloop single by first baseman Connor Spencer gave hope to the Yankees. The Valley Cat’s reliever Chris Munnelly recovered though to strikeout catcher Luis Torrens and end the Yankees only threat of the night.
The Valley Cats responded though in fashion with a solo homerun courtesy of leftfielder Derek Fisher. The homer in the eighth put the Valley Cats up by three again, taking a four to one lead. The Valley Cats would tack on two more runs in the top of the ninth to take a six to one lead. That lead would hold as the Yankees are unable to score any runs in the last two innings. The Yankees dropped their second straight game to the Valley Cats and hope to avoid a sweep at the hands of the ‘Cats.
- -Staten Island catcher Luis Torrens caught two stealing during the course of the game.
- -The loss tonight, coupled with the Cyclones 2-1 win over the Vermont Lake Monsters, drops the SI Yanks a full 3.5 games behind the Cyclones for the NY-Penn League Wild Card.
- -Jose Solano entered the game as a pinch runner for the Valley Cat’s in the sixth inning, replacing the DH Ricky Gingras.
- -Ty McFarland’s homerun in the seventh was his fourth homerun of the year.
- -The Valley Cats and the Yankees will square off again in Staten Island on Sunday at 4pm at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark.