TROY, NY (NEWS10) – On a beautiful Saturday night at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, the ValleyCats hosted the Trois Riviéres Aigles in the middle stanza of the three game series.

All eyes were on Kumar Rocker as he made his professional debut, donning the ValleyCats uniform for the first time. Aigles third baseman Joe Campagna was in the lead off slot for manager Matt Rusch, and Rocker would strike him out with a fastball on the outside corner for the game’s first out. Following a single from Ricardo Sanchez, the former Vanderbuilt University Commodore would retire the side.

Rocker would set down the Aigles in order in the second and third inning, tallying three of his six strikeouts during the two-inning span.

The Aigles would strike first, with a two-run home run off the bat of catcher Carlos Martinez, who took a full count slider from Rocker just over the left field fence to give Trois-Riviéres a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth, after a single from Connor Panas, rocker would strike out Steve Brown and force David Gauthier to ground out to Pavin Parks to end the fourth inning. Rocker finished first outing at The Joe, surrendering three hits, two runs, while striking out six and hitting one batter.

Tri-City’s at-bats warmed up as the game went on. Trois-Riviéres’s starter, Sam Belisle-Springer, worked at an extremely quick pace to try to keep the ‘Cats on their toes. However, the ValleyCats would come alive in the home half of the fourth inning.

Brantley Bell would lead off the inning with a single, advancing to second on a wild pitch. Following a Brad Zunica ground out, Bell found himself standing at third base. Juan Silverio would strike out, bringing Denis Phipps to the plate. The left fielder would line a single up the middle, plating Bell, bringing the ‘Cats within one. Phipps would only have to jog around the bases after Pavin Parks walloped a home run into left center field, giving the lead to Tri-City, who never surrendered it.

Jonah Girand would lead off the bottom of the fifth with a double, his third two-bagger in the last 24 hours. Juan Santana would step up and single, putting runners on the corners for Bell. Tonight’s designated hitter would line a double into right center field, bringing Girand around to score. Santana would come around to score on a Brad Zunica sacrifice fly, with Bell advancing to third. Juan Silverio would drive in the sixth ValleyCats of the night on a single that plated Bell.

Tri-City would add two more runs to their lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, the first one coming via a throwing error from Aigles reliever Josh Smith, bringing Parks around to score. Willy Garcia would come around to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Juan Santana to give Tri-City the 8-2 lead.

The ‘Cats bats were not done yet. In the bottom of the eighth, Jesus Lujano would double into the right center field gap to plate Willy Garcia, who led the inning off with a walk. Juan Santana would get his first RBI of the game with a single past the Aigles second baseman Ricardo Sanchez to give Tri-City the 10-2 lead.

The ValleyCats bullpen took care of the rest of the game after Rocker’s exit in the fourth. Jake Dexter, Hunter Swift, Aneudy Acosta, and Oddy Nunez combined for five innings pitched, not surrendering a hit, and striking out six Aigles hitters over five innings of work.

With tonight’s victory, the ValleyCats secured their fifth series victory of the season, with four of them coming at home. They will try for their first sweep of the season tomorrow evening, with first pitch scheduled for 5 PM.

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