STATEN ISLAND, NY- The Tri-City Valley Cats returned to the Richmond County Bank Ballpark on Sunday afternoon with a sweep of the Staten Island Yankees within their grasp. After having beaten the Yankees on Friday and Saturday, the Valley Cats were ready.
The Yankees though would not make this an easy job for the ‘Cats. After having fallen a full 3 and a half lengths behind their rivals in Brooklyn, the Cyclones, for the NY-Penn League Wild Card race, Staten Island came out swinging.
A double off the bat of Colin Slaybaugh started things off in the bottom of the first for the Baby Bombers. Catcher Isaias Tejada would double him home two batters later for the Yankees but they were not done yet. Four straight two out singles by Austin Aune, Chris Breen, Connor Spencer, and Vicente Conde made it a four to nothing game in only the fourth inning.
Tri-City was stunned as it’s starting pitching had been masterful during the course of the last two games against Staten Island but Luis Ordosgoitti never made it out of the first inning. In a complete contrast, Staten Island’s Ty Hensley was on point throughout the game. He struck out three, and allowed one hit with one walk over his three innings of work.
While starter Ty Hensley put up a performance worthy of two thumbs up, the Staten Island bullpen struggled in the later innings in the game, the same way that they had been flustered by Tri-City’s bats in Saturday’s night game.
An Ariel Ovando single in the Top of the fifth managed to plate at least one run for the ‘Cats as they sought to climb out of the hole they were in. With the single they cut the deficit to three, making the score four to one. And the Valley Cats were not done from there.
In the top of the sixth the ‘Cats scored two runs on a single by Ricky Gingras and a fielding error from Staten Island shortstop Vincente Conde to cut the Yankees lead to four to three. Having finally taken a lead over the ‘Cats for the first time in the series, the Yankee’s hold on that lead seemed precarious.
Staten Island though responded in kind to the two runs plated in the top part of the frame and scored their own run in the bottom of the sixth. The Yanks fifth run of the game came off the bat of second baseman Jose Javier. His single plated Vincente Conde to put the ‘Cats down by two heading into the last three innings.
Jose Javier was not done driving in runs. He launched a solo homerun in the bottom of the eighth to increase Staten Island’s lead by three. After the homerun the score was six to three in favor of the Baby Bombers and added a needed insurance run going into the top of ninth.
While the ‘Cats bats had been hot the whole series they could not prevail when they needed them to most. The Valley Cats put up a zero on the board for ninth and the Staten Island Yankees walked away with the victory by a final score of six to three.
- The Yankees four runs in the first was the most runs scored against the Valley Cats in an inning this series.
- Jose Javier’s homerun was his second homer of the year.