TROY —In a back-and-forth game the difference was the long ball for Tri-City. Particularly Nate Perry’s, which won the game 6-5 in extras over Brooklyn on Tuesday morning.
“This is the best game we’ve played so far as a whole,” said manager Ozney Guillen.
In the bottom of the tenth inning, the ValleyCats found themselves down one run with a placed runner on second base. It didn’t take Nate Perry long to end the game as he blasted the third pitch he saw deep over the right field wall and to the back of the bullpen. A walk-off two run home run.
“That’s what you wish for when you’re a kid. To come up in that situation and just put a good swing on that pitch,” said Perry.
Tuesday, it was Brooklyn who struck first. After a lead-off double by Wilmer Reyes the Cyclones used a sacrifice fly and some weak contact hits to score the first two runs of the game. ValleyCats’ arms Juan Pablo Lopez and Valente Bellozo kept the team in check until the ninth inning. It was then that the early part of the Cyclones’ batting order was able to drive the ball into the gaps and score the two runs necessary to tie the game.
Thanks to the long ball the ValleyCats managed to score their six runs on only three swings. The first came in the third inning when Wilmer Abreu made contact with the first pitch and sent it straight to right field. With the right fielder en route the ball kept carrying until it was just over the fence and into the opposing bullpen. Then in the seventh with two runners on, Preston Pavlica squared up his first pitch and smashed it to the back of the left field bullpen, bringing the ‘Cats three runs and the lead. They wouldn’t strike again until Perry came up to the plate in the tenth. Besides these moments Tri-City squandered any opportunity they had to move runners with strikeouts. They struck out seven times with men on base and four of those were with a man in scoring position.
“This is a process. With all of the information we give them they have to get used to it,” said Guillen. “We don’t care if you strike out as long as it’s a good swing and a good at bat.”
With today’s victory the ValleyCats take the series victory 2-1. They’re record also improves to 9-14 on the year. An extra innings game comes at an inopportune time as they will not get an off day until next Tuesday. They play Wednesday night at The Joe against State College.
Perry said, “These fans here at home are the best. With their support we can do anything.”