TROY — After finding themselves down 3-0 early, the ValleyCats attempted to stage a comeback but it fell short as they fell to the Lowell Spinners by a final score of 5-3 on Thursday night at Joe Bruno Stadium.
The Spinners did not take long to get on the board as Tyler Dearden hit a solo home run to right field in the top half of the first off of Tri-City starter Alex House. House ended up having a short start, only tossing the first two frames of the night, allowing the lone run on three hits.
The score stayed that way until the fourth inning, as Lowell scored two runs on a stolen base and an error as Devlin Granberg stole third base, and ValleyCats catcher Oscar Campos threw the ball into left field. This allowed both Granberg and Ramfis Berroa to score, making it 3-0 in favor of the visitors.
“I thought we hit the ball a lot better than they hit the ball, but sometimes the game is funky, so it made it 3-0 but I never felt like we were out of the game at that point,” ValleyCats manager Jason Bell said.
Lowell starting pitcher Eduard Bazardo dominated the ValleyCat order through the first five innings, allowing just four hits through the first five and struck out four. He got the first two outs rather easily, then trouble struck as Andy Pineda and Trey Dawson hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, cutting the Tri-City deficit to 3-2. Those were the last two batters that Bazardo faced as he was pulled after the second home run, being relieved by Kevin Biondic and later on Kris Jackson.
Dawson’s home run was the first of his professional career. He said, “It felt pretty good. It’s been probably close to 100 at-bats, so it was getting to that point.”
The Spinners put the game away in the top of the seventh inning as Korby Batesole delivered a two-run single, scoring Alan Marrero and Xavier LeGrant, making it 5-2. The ValleyCats tacked on a run in the bottom of the seventh inning and got the go-ahead run on base in the ninth but it was not enough as the ValleyCats fell for the second straight night.
“We just didn’t get enough hits with guys on base, but that’s baseball sometimes,” Bell said.
ValleyCats outfielder Alex McKenna left the game in the fourth inning due to an ankle injury suffered sliding back to first base on a pickoff. It is a big loss for the ValleyCats as he has been as hot as anyone the past week, and was 2-2 before being removed. According to Bell he will go see the doctor on Friday afternoon for further testing.
The ValleyCats fall to 25-20 on the season but still hold a 1.5 game lead in the Stedler Division in front of Lowell, now 24-22 on the season. The two squads will be back at it on Friday as they continue the series at 7 p.m. The probable pitchers are Brett Daniels for Tri-City and Brian Brown for Lowell.