BURLINGTON, VT – The Tri-City ValleyCats defeated the Vermont Lake Monsters 5-4 on Sunday night, after scoring the go ahead run in the top of the ninth inning.
All knotted up at 4-4, Jonathan Arauz led off the inning with a single, and advanced to second on a throwing error by Vermont second baseman Jesus Lage. Arauz then made it to third on a wild pitch, and scored the go-ahead run on an RBI groundout by Reid Russell.
ValleyCats pitcher Jesus Balaguer (1-1) earned his first victory for the ‘Cats, throwing two clean innings of relief in the eighth and ninth innings, which gave the ‘Cats offense the chance they needed.
A day after Astros ace Dallas Keuchel made a rehab start with Tri-City, Juan Robles took the hill for the ‘Cats. Robles didn’t fare nearly as well, allowing three earned runs on six hits in three and two thirds innings.
Colin McKee came on in relief, and his only blemish came in the fifth. After two walks and a single loaded the bases, Payton Squire hit a sacrifice fly to give Vermont a 4-1 lead.
The ValleyCats first run came in the third inning on an RBI double by red hot J.J. Matijevic, who is currently on a seven game hitting streak in which he has gone 12-for-27 with nine RBI.
Jake Adams led off the sixth inning with a home run to deep center, his sixth of the season, to cut the deficit to 4-2. Just one inning later, after Matijevic led off the seventh inning with a single, Kyle Davis walked and Jonathan Arauz lined a double to center, scoring Matijevic to make it 4-3. The next batter, Jake Adams hit an RBI groundout to tie the game at 4-4.
With the victory, the ‘Cats improved their record to 14-18, while Vermont fell to 19-14. The ValleyCats are only 4.5 games behind division leading Vermont, with the Connecticut Tigers sandwiched between them at 15-15.
Tri-City and Vermont continue their series on Monday night at 7:05 p.m. in Burlington. Houston Astros second round draft pick, RHP Corbin Martin out of Texas A&M, will make his New York-Penn League debut for the ‘Cats. Vermont will send right-hander Argenis Blanco (1-3, 4.11 ERA) to the mound.