TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Tri-City ValleyCats (53-37) were defeated 8-2 by the Sussex County Miners (50-40) on Tuesday at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium after the defense faltered in the seventh. Despite the loss, since the Québec Capitales won 3-2 over the New York Boulders on Tuesday; the ‘Cats magic number to clinch their first playoff berth since 2018 is down to five.

Sussex County opened the scoring in the second. Garrison Bryant walked Juan Santana. Gavin Stupienski singled, and Santana went to second. Jason Agresti found the outfield grass with a single to plate Santana, and provide the Miners with a 1-0 lead.

Tri-City took the lead in the second. Tanner Smith singled off Mark Moclair. Connor Bagnieski reached on an error from Gavin Stupienski, and Smith went to second. Pavin Parks tied the game with an RBI single, and Bagnieski went to third. Cito Culver drove in Bagnieski with a single to provide the ValleyCats with a 2-1 advantage.

Sussex County tied the game in the sixth. Caden O’Brien allowed back-to-back singles to Willie Escala and Oraj Anu. Escala stole third, and came around on a Stupienski single to knot the game at 2-2.

Bryant received a no-decision. He hurled five frames, yielding one run on four hits, walking one, and striking out three.

Moclair was handed a no-decision. He pitched 5.2 innings, giving up two unearned runs on seven hits, walking four, and striking out five.

The Miners pulled ahead in the seventh. Coleman Huntley surrendered a leadoff double to Evan Giordano. Jawaun Harris then walked, and Mateo laid down a bunt single. Huntley threw the ball away trying to nab the lead runner at third, which allowed Giordano and Harris to score. Afterward, Escala laid down a bunt, and Huntley made an errant throw to first, so Mateo scored and Escala went to second. Anu had an RBI knock before Stupienski had another single. Stupienski and Anu went to second and third, respectively, on a wild pitch. Agresti walked, and Tyler Jeans entered the fray. Johnny Hipsman reached on an error from Juan Kelly, and everyone advanced 90 feet. Giordano reached on an RBI fielder’s choice to make it an 8-2 affair.

Jose Ledesma, Jr. (5-8) earned the win. He went 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing no hits or walks, and did not record a strikeout.

Huntley (1-2) received the loss. He tossed an inning, yielding six runs, two earned on four hits, walking one, and striking out one.

Tri-City will try to even the series against Sussex County tomorrow, Wednesday, Aug. 30. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.