Catnip! ‘Cats bats go crazy in the performance of the year

Troy—Tonight we got to see the true potential of this young Tri-City team. They set this year’s team records for hits, runs and home runs in their 16-4 win over the Lowell Spinners.

“They didn’t waste at bats,” said Manager Ozney Guillen. “We don’t usually get up that high but they kept playing the game hard and that’s all I could ask for.”

The ValleyCats set the pace early, getting two runners on base before last night’s hero Joe Perez stepped up to the plate. It was a déjà vu moment as he crushed a pitch down the middle to the same part of left field that the walk-off landed. The bats stayed hot in the second inning where Luis Santana, AJ Lee and then Korey Lee each drove in a run off of a hit. They left the early stages of the game with a six run lead.

Starting pitcher Valente Bellozo played just as big a role in the strong start as any batter. The right hander easily handled the league leading Lowell lineup, striking out six batters and only giving up three hits. The only run of his outing came when Lowell right fielder Marino Campana hit a high arcing home run over the left field fence.

“(Bellozo) has been our most consistent guy this year. He’s going to keep working hard and be a rock out there,” said Guillen.

Guillen opted for Juan Pablo Lopez and Miguel Figueroa for the final four innings. They allowed two hits and three more runs in that span.

Tri-City got back on the board in the sixth thanks to AJ Lee and Nate Perry. They drove in five runs that frame, both by way of the long ball. Nate Perry’s was the only shot of the day not to left field, a pulled line drive over the right field bullpen. Then in the eighth, Jose Larez hit both Korey Lee and Perry putting the dangerous Perez at the plate with runners on. He hit yet another bomb to his new home on the back side of the left field fence, his third home run of this series.

“If we can keep that consistency we probably won’t put up numbers like that, but we’ll be in every game,” said AJ Lee.

In the season’s best performance not only did they put up season high numbers of 16 runs, 16 hits, and four home runs but they have also reached a season high win streak of five games. They can try for their second series sweep of the season tomorrow night at Joe Bruno Stadium.

“I think we’re more relaxed, comfortable,” said Guillen. “Guys have earned spots and they just had to keep playing.”

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