ValleyCats pull out win in 11th
TROY It wasn’t the classic way to win a game, but the Tri-City ValleyCats will take it.
Bobby Boyd scored on J.D. Davis’ fielder’s choice in the 11th inning, helping the ’Cats to a 5-4 New York-Penn League win over the Vermont Lake Monsters on Tuesday at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.
It’s the ’Cats’ fourth straight win, and their third walk-off victory of the season. The ’Cats had three walk-off wins all of last season.
Boyd started the scoring sequence with a one-out single and then stole second. Marc Wik followed with a single up the middle that Lake Monsters shortstop Gabriel Santana prevented from going into center field.
After an intentional walk to A.J. Reed, Davis hit a grounder to third baseman Yairo Munoz. Munoz decided to step on third for the force on Wik, and then threw to first, but the throw was late.
“Last night in that same situation, I hit a shot to first,” Davis said. “The same situation came up today. Last night, I was the goat. Tonight, I was the hero. That’s the game of baseball.”
Tri-City manager Ed Romero was surprised by Munoz’s decision.
“For me, if I was playing over there in that situation, I would have gotten the ball, turned around like he did and thrown the ball to the plate to get one out,” Romero said.
The ’Cats had a chance to win it in the 10th. Nick Tanielu drew a two-out walk off reliever Jonnie Massad. Areil Ovando singled to right field, and Tanielu advanced to third. A walk to Ravel Santana loaded the bases.
But Massad struck out Alfredo Gonzalez on a pitch out of the strike zone to end the threat.
Vermont had a threat in the 11th. After Tri-City reliever Chris Munnelly struck out the first two batters of the inning, he surrendered singles to Gabriel Santana and Dayton Alexander. But Munnelly got out of it by striking out Andy Paz.
The ’Cats took a 1-0 lead in the third on Reed’s RBI double off Lake Monsters starter A.J. Burke. Tri-City starter Joe Musgrove protected the lead into the fifth, and things were looking good when he struck out Justin Higley on three pitches to start the inning.
But Musgrove walked the next hitter, Gabriel Santana, on four pitches. That was the only walk Musgrove allowed in his five innings of work, and it would prove costly. Alexander doubled Santana home to tie the score. Anderson would then score on a Munoz single on an 0-2 pitch.
The ’Cats regained the lead in the sixth. With two out, Lake Monsters reliever Victor Veliz walked Ravel Santana and Gonzalez. Mott Hyde then hit a double down the right-field line to score Santana. Romero initially held Gonzalez at third. But right fielder Scott Masik bobbled the ball, and Gonzalez came home to score.
Tri-City made it 4-2 in the seventh on Davis’ second homer of the season. The ball just stayed inside the left-field foul pole.
But ’Cats reliever Bryan Radziewski couldn’t hold on to the lead in the eighth.
Munoz led off with a single. He went to second on pinch-hitter Ben McQuown’s groundout to Davis at third. Masik singled to center, and Munoz went to third. Center fielder Bobby Boyd threw home anyway, and that allowed Masik to take second.
Joe Bennie then delivered a two-run single to make it 4-4.
Because of the lateness of the game, the postgame fireworks show was postponed. Fans can redeem tickets for tickets to future Tri-City games, except for July 4.