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Rocker Earns First Career Win, ValleyCats Defeat Greys 8-3

July 1, 2022 - Frontier League (FL) - Tri-City ValleyCats News Release


Tri-City ValleyCats pitcher Kumar Rocker
Tri-City ValleyCats pitcher Kumar Rocker
(Tri-City ValleyCats, Credit: Tri-City ValleyCats)

TROY, NY - Los Puentes de Tri-City and the Empire State Greys met for the fourth time in a week, starting a weekend series at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium on Friday night.

Kumar Rocker took the mound for his fifth start as a member of Los Puentes de Tri-City. Coming into tonight's match up, the right hander boasted a 1.80 ERA, while allowing just three walks compared to 25 strikeouts.

The former Vanderbuilt Commodore would come out firing at the start of the game, striking out the first three Greys hitters he faced. Greys starter Thomas Derer would match that feat, retiring the first three Los Puentes to come to the plate.

Following another frame where Rocker would retire the Greys in order, the Los Puentes offense broke things open. Denis Phipps would lead off the bottom of the second inning with a towering solo home run to left center field that ricocheted off the light pole in left center field. Juan Silverio would reach safely on a fielder's choice, with Brad Zunica retired via the force play at second base for the first out of the inning. Los Puentes second baseman Jace Mercer would hit a towering shot to right center field, extending the ValleyCats lead to 3-0.

After a two-out single from Jonah Girand, Pacin Parks would walk to put runners on first and second. Brantley Bell would then line a single into left field, plating Girand. Jesus Lujano would then rip an RBI single of his own, bringing both Bell and Parks around to score. Los Puentes de Tri-City would bring their 10th hitter up to the plate, as Denis Phipps would be retired. Los Puentes de Tri-City would enter the top of the third inning with a 6-0 lead.

Rocker would throw his third perfect inning of the game, retiring the bottom third of the Greys lineup in order, recording his fifth and sixth strike outs of the evening to retire the final two batters of the inning. Los Puentes de Tri-City would add another run to their tally in the bottom of the third inning on a single from right fielder Carson McCusker that plated Juan Silverio from third base.

Rocker would surrender his first two base runners in the top of the fourth inning. Greys infielder Robbie Carling laced a one out double down the left field line, and Jordan Holloman-Scott would walk following the double. The right hander would be unfazed, retiring Trey Woosley and Paul Mondesi to strand the runners on base. Los Puentes first baseman Brad Zunica would pad the lead with a towering solo blast into right field, giving Tri-City the 8-0 lead.

Rocker went out for his fifth inning of work with a significant lead. John Benevolent would reach base to lead off the frame following an error on McCusker, who could not handle the fly ball from Benevolent. Following Rocker's seventh strike out, Christian Naccari laced a single into center field, bringing Benevolent in to score. Rocker would finish the inning, allowing just the one unearned run.

The Greys would get on the board twice in the sixth inning, following an RBI ground out from Trey Woosley, and a sacrifice fly from Paul Mondesi, cutting the Los Puentes lead to 8-3.

SUNY Brockport and Albany, New York native Thomas Kretzler would enter the game in the eighth inning for Los Puentes de Tri-City, making his professional debut. He would strike out Jordan Holloman-Scott for his first recorded out, and would work around a one out single from Woosley to retire the next two batters he would face.

The right handed pitcher would come out for his second inning of work in the top half of the ninth inning, surrendering a single to Naccari and stranding him at first by retiring the next two Greys he faced.

FINAL | (22-20) TRI-CITY 8 (2-39) EMPIRE STATE 3

W: KUMAR ROCKER (1-0)

L: THOMAS DERER (0-5)

SV: NONE

ATTENDANCE: 2,422

The 'Cats return to the field Saturday night as they host the Empire State Greys for the second game of this weekend series. Tomorrow night is also The One with the FRIENDS theme. First pitch is scheduled for 7 PM. Get your tickets today by calling 518-629-CATS, visiting the team's box office, or logging on to tcvalleycats.com.





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Tri-City ValleyCats pitcher Kumar Rocker
Tri-City ValleyCats pitcher Kumar Rocker

(Tri-City ValleyCats)
  

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