TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Tri-City ValleyCats (9-9) won the rubber game 10-6 over the Trois-Rivières Aigles (7-11) on Thursday as New York Mets legend Darryl Strawberry made his guest appearance at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. With the victory, Tri-City has a .500 record for the first time since May 16, and has won all three series at home.
The ValleyCats opened the scoring in the first. Cito Culver and Carson McCusker had back-to-back one-out knocks off Ray Weber. Aaron Altherr singled in Culver, and Zach Biermann drove in McCusker with a base hit to give Tri-City a 2-0 lead.
McCusker and Altherr each picked up their second hit of the ballgame in the third. McCusker singled, and advanced to second on a groundout before Altherr brought him in with an RBI single to pull the ‘Cats ahead, 3-0.
The Aigles picked up their first hit in the fifth. Elijah Gill retired 12 hitters in a row before issuing a double to Malik Williams. Ricardo Sanchez laced an RBI single to cut the deficit to 3-1.
Tri-City broke the game wide open in the seventh. Jaxon Hallmark led off with a double against Jacob Stobart. Hallmark swiped third, and McCusker was intentionally walked. Trey Hair hit a grounder to Williams who threw the ball away, which allowed two runs to come around. Biermann lined a ball to left and it was dropped by Parker DePasquale, which scored Hair to put the ValleyCats on top, 6-1.
The ‘Cats extended their lead in the eighth. Pavin Parks worked a walk against James Bradwell. Ciaran Devenney singled before Hallmark reached on an error from Juan Kelly. Culver hit a ground-rule double to plate two runs to put an exclamation point on an eight-RBI series. McCusker then lifted a sac fly to right. Afterward, Culver crossed the plate on a wild pitch to provide Tri-City with a 10-1 lead.
The Aigles put up a five spot in the ninth. Andrew Edwards issued two walks and hit a batter before he was taken out. Parks came into pitch for the second time this series, and only allowed one hit. However, two dropped fly balls, the second one of the day from Juan Montes and one from McCusker along with a throwing error from Devenney, increased Parks’s pitch count. He allowed back-to-back walks before Reymin Guduan shut the door, retiring the lone batter he faced in Caleb Feuerstake on a groundout to record his third save.
Gill (1-1) earned the win. He hurled six innings of one-run ball, giving up two hits, walking one, and striking out six.
Weber (0-3) received the loss. He went five innings, yielding three runs on seven hits, walking one, and striking out six.
Tri-City continues its homestand tomorrow, Friday, June 2 with the first game of a three-game set against the Empire State Greys. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM EDT.