TROY — Just as the 2,732 fans in attendance at Friday nights ValleyCats game at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium thought they would go home witnessing a ‘Cats win, the Hudson Valley Renegades played spoiler in the 9th to win 4-3.
The ValleyCats sent 2018 5th round pick Cody Deason to the bump to make his professional debut. Although his outing was short the former Arizona Wildcat pitched two scoreless innings while allowing just one hit. He was also efficient as 18 of his 28 pitches were thrown for strikes (64 percent).
“It felt good to get back into the swing of things,” Deason said. “I just wanted to throw strikes, maybe it wasn’t the best stuff but I haven’t seen a batter in about a month so I feel like I did a good job for that.”
The ‘Cats gave Deason some early run support in the 1st when Gilberto Celestino drove in Enmanuel Valdez from second to take an early 1-0 lead.
However, the lead would only last two innings as the Renegades tied the game up in the 4th as a pair of throwing errors on a stolen base attempt to second brought the runner all the way home.
Later in the 6th, Renegades Chris Betts took ‘Cats reliever Bryan Abreu yard to right field to take a 2-1 lead. That would be Abreu’s only earned run allowed in his four innings of work. He also gave up six hits while striking out four and walking one.
The ‘Cats would, however, return the favor in the bottom of the 6th with a pair of runs of their own. The tying run came on a Valdez RBI single to right which scored Jeremy Pena from second. Two batters later, Austin Dennis gave the ‘Cats the lead on a broken bat RBI single to left on a hit-and-run play scoring Valdez.
Then the wheels feel off in the 9th. Reliever Ian Hardman allowed the first three Renegades batters to reach base and with one out the tying run came across the plate on a wild pitch. Hardman was pulled after allowing a walk to reload the bases.
Luis De Paula had the job of getting the ‘Cats out of the one out, bases loaded jam. However, he too would throw a wild pitch to his first batter that brought across the go ahead run for the Renegades.
Looking for their first walk-off win of the season, the ‘Cats were retired 1-2-3 in the 9th as they fell to the Renegades 4-3 for their third straight loss.
After the game manager Jason Bell spoke about what he saw out of his team on Friday night.
“I don’t think we really played well for most of the game,” Bell said. “It’s just crazy we were in position to win at the end, but it hurts to know that we didn’t play well and still had a chance to win.” “I thought we ran the bases well, we made four errors though and had seven hits and they and 10 hits and one error, really we didn’t put ourselves in position to win we just happened to have a lead in the 9th then we just gave away free bases.”
The ValleyCats (7-7) and Renegades (11-3) will meet again at 7 p.m. on Saturday night at Joseph L. Bruno stadium. The ‘Cats will look to end their three game skid as they send Felipe Tejada (1-1, 4.70 ERA) to the bump.