Troy, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Empire State Greys made their first trip to Joseph L. Bruno Stadium on Friday night, kicking off a weekend series between the two teams.
The ValleyCats would send Joey Gonzalez out to the hill for his eighth start of the season. He would set the Greys down in order in their first two trips to the plate.
Tri-City would get on the board in the bottom half of the first inning, on a two out double from right fielder Denis Phipps, which brought Jesus Lujano around to score from first base. The ‘Cats would take on another run in the bottom of the second as well when third baseman Juan Silverio laced an RBI single down the left field line, bringing Juan Santana in from second base to score.
Following an error from first baseman Brad Zunica that allowed Liam McArthur to reach base, the Greys would record their first hit in the top of the third inning, an RBI double from Jose Mercado, cutting the ValleyCat lead in half to 2-1. Following a 1-2-3 bottom half of the third, the Greys would plate the only two earned runs off of Gonzalez in his outing on a Paul Mondesi single and an RBI double from Christian Naccari, giving the Greys the 3-2 lead.
The lead for the Greys would not last past the bottom of the fourth inning however, as a 2-RBI double from shortstop Pavin Parks gave the lead right back to Tri-City. Empire State would go quietly in the top of the fifth inning, Brad Zunica added one more to the ‘Cats tally on a solo blast over the right field wall off of Greys starter Andres Rodriguez, giving the ValleyCats the 5-3 lead.
Empire State would be retired in order in the sixth and seventh innings by Garcia, who finished with nine strikeouts over those seven innings. The offense would add another run to their total on a Jesus Lujano single that allowed Pavin Parks to score.
The Greys would come storming back in the top of the eighth inning, plating four runs. After ValleyCats reliever David Siehl loaded the bases, Trey Woosley would ground out to Parks at shortstop, bringing Liam McArthur in to score. Jordan Holloman-Smith would rip a single into left field off of Niel Abbatiello to plate two more runs to tie the game. After going first to third on a Paul Mondesi single, Holloman-Smith would score on a wild pitch out of the hand of Abbatiello to give the lead back to Empire State.
Tri-City would not score in the bottom of the eighth inning, and the lefty reliever went out for his second inning of work. After working himself into a jam, Tom Incaviglia would call upon Jake Dexter to try to limit any impending damage. The righty was able to set down the Greys top three hitters to send the game into the bottom of the ninth with the ValleyCats only trailing by one.
Juan Silverio would lead off the bottom half of the ninth inning with a single. Ciaran Devenney followed the ValleyCats third baseman with a pop out to Jose Mercado for the first out of the inning. Pavin Parks would work a walk against Holden Bernhardt, bringing Brantley Bell to the plate. The left fielder launched a line drive to deep left center field that bounced off the wall, plating the winning run all the way from first base. Tonight’s walk-off victory is the ValleyCats sixth walk off win of the season. Five of the six coming at home, and the sixth coming in Washington as part of the new “Sudden Death Baseball” extra inning rule.