TROY — The Tri-City ValleyCats split their doubleheader with the Auburn Doubledays, leading to a series win at Joe Bruno Stadium on Thursday afternoon.
Both games were decided by one run, as the ValleyCats entered the seventh (and final) inning of both games with a lead.
Game One was headlined by a monstrous solo home run from Luis Encarncion.
Encarnacion’s team-leading fifth home run of the season led of the fifth inning, giving the ValleyCats a 2-1 lead at the time.
They went on to tack on one more run in the sixth, when Trey Dawson brought Enmanuel Valdez home with a sacrifice fly.
Staked to a two-run lead, Felipe Tejada then took the mound for the ValleyCats in the seventh inning.
Tejada then proceeded to give up three earned runs in the frame, being tagged with his team-lead-tying third loss of the season.
The ValleyCats went on to strand the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the bottom of the seventh inning, losing the early game by a score of 4-3.
It was just the second time this year that the ValleyCats have lost a game where they outhit the opposition (9-8).
All of the runs in Game Two were scored in just two frames.
Carlos Machado’s two-run single got the ValleyCats on the scoreboard, headlining a three-run third inning.
Behind brilliant pitching from Austin Hansen, RJ Freure and Cody Deason, the ValleyCats took their 3-0 lead into the seventh inning.
Deason then surrenered two runs on a single to Auburn’s Victor Robles, leading to the game’s final two runs.
Luis De Paula recorded the final out to earn his second save of the year, while RJ Freure earned the win.
Now with a record of 22-16. the ValleyCats remain atop the New York-Penn League Stedler Division standings.
They will now welcome the Staten Island Yankees into town for four games, beginning on Friday night at 7 p.m.