Troy—After a less than stellar offensive game, late bursts in the eighth and ninth and a home run by Joe Perez brought the ValleyCats to a 3-1 win over the Lowell Spinners.
“Focus, composure, I think we are playing like a better team,” said Manager Ozney Guillen.
The ValleyCats, coming off of their first sweep of the season in Auburn looked to check another thing off of their to-do list. Beat the Lowell Spinners who had one the previous six matchups this season by as much as 11 runs.
“We have a lot of momentum, a lot of confidence bleeding over from the last series,” said Joe Perez.
The ‘Cats pitching staff was a big reason that they were in a position to win tonight. Kyle Serrano set the tone in the first inning. He opened by retiring three of his four batters, walking the other. Edgardo Sandoval followed him pitching the next five innings. The Spinners gave him a fight, getting runners to second or third in three of those five frames. But Sandoval kept a cool head and like a piece of teflon slipped out of every Lowell threat.
“Credit to the defense. When they hit the ball we were there and actually made the play which we’ve had trouble doing before when getting guys out of jams,” said Guillen.
Cole McDonald finished the game for Tri-City but in his first inning of work Lowell’s bats found the ball three times including a line drive into center by Alex Erro which scored one. McDonald settled in after that, punching four of his last six batters out.
The ValleyCats had plenty of opportunities to put runs up early but they just couldn’t get enough energy throughout the lineup. This was clear in the fifth, when back to back hits left two runners in scoring position but the ValleyCats left the inning without a run on the scoreboard.
That all changed in the eighth when Juan Ramirez snuck a ball through the infield for a leadoff base hit. He was aggressive despite being checked back to first multiple times and stole second during the following at bat. It was Juan Paulino that did the damage, slamming a line drive straight over the right fielders head and back towards the wall, a RBI double. Once McDonald had done his job it was the offense’s turn to finish the Spinners off, and that they did. Nate Perry pulled a single to right field to start the inning off right. After a solid over the shoulder catch robbed Jordan Brewer of his second hit of the night, it was Joe Perez’s turn. He battled Mejias, a former New York Met, to a full count before he was finally able to pull a ball high in the air and out of the park. A 390 foot walk-off homer.
Guillen said, “I hope he does that to a lot more big league guys. Hopefully in the big leagues.”
The ValleyCats now have tied their season record win streak of four games. They will try to extend that to five games tomorrow at The Joe where they will play the Lowell Spinners in game two of the series.