The ValleyCats entered last night series opener against the Brooklyn Cyclones as a heavy underdog due to the Cyclones record during the season. Plus, the ValleyCats offense hasn't been the hottest going into this series. But, they planned on leaning on their pitching staff that could be the best in the league. What happened? Pitching and timely hitting allowed them to win 5-2 to take the first game of the three game series.
The Brooklyn lineup is one of the best lineups in the league but probably not as good as Batavias lineup in which the pitching staff had already done quite well to limit in the previous series. They continued that last night. Starter David Martinez started off shaky giving up a two-run shot to center in the first inning with just one out but quickly settled down to pitch five solid innings. He didn't have his best stuff and could only get three strikeouts and walked three. So, it wasn't a typical outing for him, but he, along with Jason Chowning and Jorge De Leon, were able to keep them off the board for the rest of the game.
I'll discuss the offense after the jump.
The offense was able to put it all together in the third to tack up four runs to secure the lead and keep it. Ben Orloff led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a hit and run by Kike Hernandez who was out at first. Austin Wates then stepped up and hit a double that scored Orloff. Wates then scored on an Adam Bailey single. Bailey also advanced to second on a wild pitch which was followed up with Chris Wallace drawing his second walk of the night. Bailey then scored on an error that allowed Tyler Burnet to get on base. The damage had been done.
Later, in the sixth inning, Marcus Nidiffer hit an absolute bomb that the announcers estimated to be over 430 ft. with two outs. The score was then 5-2 and that is the way it stayed.
- David Martinez (3.60)-5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR
- Jason Chowning (0.00)-2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO
- Jorge De Leon (0.00)-2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO
- Kike Hernandez (.176)-1-4, 2B
- Austin Wates (.278)-1-4, 2B
- Chris Wallace (.308)-0-1, 3 BB-I really want to emphasize his walks. Two of them came on full counts. He knows how to work the count well and knows what he's doing.
- Marcus Nidiffer (.154)-1-3, HR, SO-They said in the broadcast he's the best fastball hitter on the squad, but struggles with breaking balls. That will be an issue moving forward.
Here is the Tri-City recap of the game. It's better than what I can do because they are actually there watching it. They also include quotes which is always nice.