TROY, NY (NEWS10) — The Tri-City Valleycats returned from the All-Star break Friday, and unleashed an offensive flourish on the Gateway Grizzlies, winning 16-4 to open up the weekend’s three-game series.

The onslaught began in the first inning with a solo homerun from Brantley Bell, which was followed up by a birthday bash from Denis Phipps, who celebrated his 37th birthday in style with a two-run homerun to put the Valleycats up 3-0 after one inning.

Tri-City would go on to score at least one run each the next three innings, and had an 8-2 advantage heading into the bottom of the 7th inning.

An eight-spot went up on the board for the Valleycats that frame, and was capped off by a Phipps grand slam, giving him seven RBI on the evening. Both he and first baseman Brad Zunica recorded two long balls, combining to drive in nine of the team’s 16 runs.

Not to be overshadowed by Tri-City’s offensive barrage was the performance of starter Joey Gonzalez, who held the Grizzlies to two runs in seven innings of work, while striking out five.

The Valleycats will look to carry their momentum into tomorrow’s game with the Grizzlies. First pitch is slated for 7:00 pm.