Brooklyn Uses Early Offensive Outburst to Defeat 'Cats 8-1
BROOKLYN, NY- The first place ValleyCats headed to Brooklyn riding a five game winning streak and a four game lead in the New York-Penn League Stedler Division. On Monday night, 'Cats starting pitcher Adrian Houser struggled early and failed to get out of the second inning as the Cyclones put seven runs on the board. The 'Cats offense couldn't rebound from the deep hole, and they were defeated by Brooklyn, 8-1.
The offense began in the bottom of the first inning after Brooklyn's lead-off batter Jonathan Clark was hit by Houser. L.J. Mazzilli hit a single, then Jared King hit an RBI double to score Clark. Houser (0-3) proceeded to hit James Roche to put runners on the corners with one out, and Alex Sanchez followed with a sacrifice fly to score Mazzilli. That would put the Cyclones up 2-0 heading to the second inning.
Brooklyn put five runs on the board in the second after a fielding error by 'Cats third baseman Tyler White, followed by four consecutive singles, a triple, wild pitch and another single.
After the fourth single, Randall Fant came on in relief of Houser and immediately struck out Jared King for the second out of the inning. Then, James Roche hit a triple to center, scoring two more Cyclones. A wild pitch one batter later scored the fifth run of the inning for Brooklyn, giving them a 7-0 advantage.
Fant cruised through the next 4 1/3 innings, striking out seven total batters. He would exit the ballgame in the bottom of the 7th after Jared King reached on a fielding error by 'Cats left fielder D'Andre Toney, a James Roche single to center and an infield fly popout.
Charles Basford relieved Fant and immediately gave up a single to Matt Oberste, loading the bases with one out. Basford then struck Colton Plaia, but walked in a run on the next batter, making it 8-1 Brooklyn at the end of seven innings.
Cyclones starting pitcher, Dario Alvarez did a good job of silencing the ValleyCats offense, as their lone run of the ballgame came in the fifth inning. Jack Mayfield, the only 'Cats hitter with a multi-hit game, singled to left field with one out. He advanced to second on a wild pitch, to third on a single from James Ramsay, and scored on another wild pitch. Alvarez (2-4) pitched five innings, giving up four hits, an earned run, three walks, and struck out five 'Cats batters.
The ValleyCats only mustered six hits on the night and had just five runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, the Cyclones had 15 hits, and six of their nine batters had multi-hit games.
With the loss, the 'Cats drop to 40-26 on the season with 10 games remaining. They were able to maintain a four game lead over the Lowell Spinners for first place in the Stedler Division, as the Spinners lost to Aberdeen in 11 innings.
The magic number for the ValleyCats to clinch a playoff spot is now down to six games. The 'Cats are in Brooklyn again on Tuesday night and will send RHP Michael Feliz (3-2 1.42) to the mound to face Cyclones RHP Dawrin Frias (1-1 4.84). Feliz currently owns the best ERA in the New York-Penn League.
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