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    Bullpen woes sink ValleyCats in series opener with Miners

    By ​Tommy ValentineAdam Cohen,

    22 days ago

    TROY, N.Y. ( NEWS10 ) — The Tri-City ValleyCats (16-21) held a 4-2 lead going into the top of the eighth inning of Friday’s series opener with the Sussex County Miners (14-22) at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. But a go-ahead, three-run home run from Evan Giordano capped a five-run inning that guided the Miners to an 8-5 victory, as the ValleyCats dropped a sixth straight game.

    Sussex County broke the scoreless seal in the third. Giordano singled off Chas Cywin. Willie Escala laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Giordano to second, and then he was brought home by a Gabriel Maciel single to put the Miners ahead, 1-0.

    Sussex County added to its lead in the fourth. Gavin Stupienski lifted a solo homer to grow the Miners’ lead to 2-0.

    Tri-City rallied in the sixth. Jaxon Hallmark and Javeyan Williams were both issued a walk from Mike Reagan to start the frame. Oscar Campos singled, plating Hallmark, and Williams went to third. Campos moved up to second after getting out of a rundown following his RBI knock. Two batters later, Kyle Novak smacked a two-run single against Eston Stull into center, giving the ValleyCats a 3-2 advantage.

    Tri-City doubled its lead in the seventh. Robbie Merced singled, stole a base, and moved to third on a wild pitch. Alec Olund brought in Merced with a single to put the ValleyCats on top, 4-2.

    Sussex County stormed back in the eighth, though, as manager Greg Tagert turned to Gino Sabatine out of the bullpen. Cory Acton and Oraj Anu singled off Sabatine. Stupienski ripped an RBI double, and a throwing error from Olund allowed Anu to score, tying the game. Alec Sayre walked, leading to Giordano’s three-run blast that made it a 7-4 affair.

    Reagan received a no-decision. He pitched 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on three hits, walking four, and striking out five.

    Cywin was also handed a no-decision. He spun seven frames, yielding two runs on seven hits, walking two and striking out two. In his best and longest start of the 2024 campaign, he retired 10 batters in a row from the fourth to the seventh.

    Acton went yard in the ninth to pull the Miners ahead, 8-4.

    Robbie Hitt walked Merced in the bottom of the ninth, who stole second and third. Hallmark and Williams were also given free passes to load the bases with nobody out. Olund hit into a 6-4-3 double play, and Merced came around to score to cut the deficit to 8-5. Hitt induced a flyout from Campos to seal the Sussex County win.

    Stull (2-0) earned the win. He went 1.2 innings, giving up a run on four hits, and struck out five.

    Sabatine (2-1) was charged with the loss. He pitched two frames, yielding six runs, five earned on eight hits, walking one, and striking out one.

    Tri-City plays the middle game against Sussex County on Saturday, June 22 nd . First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

    Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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