TROY, NY — Sitting 3.5 games out of the wildcats and 5 games out of first place in their division, the Tri-City ValleyCats needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
After two and a half scoreless innings, the ‘Cats struck first in the bottom of the third. With two outs and Tyler Wolfe on third, Carmen Benedetti singled on a throwing error by Lowell shortstop CJ Chatham, enabling Wolfe to come home.
With their next at-bats, the Spinners proved why they rule the top of the Stedler division. Having one out and a man on third, Matt McLean grounded out to score Yoan Aybar. The next batter, CJ Chatham, homered to score himself and Andy Perez. Though now a 3-1 game, the ‘Cats weren’t phased.
In the sixth, the resilient ValleyCats brought the game back within their grasp. With two outs and Ronnie Dawson in scoring position, Kevin Martir delivered a line drive single, bringing Dawson all the way home.
At the bottom of the eighth while running out of outs, the ‘Cats essentially brought the game back to zeros. With two outs down, Ronnie Dawson scored for the second time in the game, off a sacrifice fly from Kevin Martir. From there, it was up to the ‘Cats bullpen to contain Lowell’s explosive bats.
Between the 4th and closing time, the ‘Cats bullpen struck out 8 and gave up a game changing 2 run home run.
That game changing home run came from Lowell shortstop CJ Chatham in the top of the 9th. Chatham’s second home run of the game gave the Spinners a monumental two run lead (5-3).
Like the ‘Cats had done all season, they didn’t go down without a fight in the 9th. After getting walked to lead off the bottom half of the inning, Tyler Wolfe scored to put Tri-City within one. A potentially tying run by Rodrigo Ayarza would make it to second, but go no farther.
With only 10 games remaining, tonight’s 5-4 loss isn’t helping the ‘Cats chances at making the playoffs.”Every game is important,” said manager Lamarr Rogers. “ All the guys know that, we’ve just got to pack it in and try again tomorrow,” Rogers went on to say.