ValeyCats humbled in home opener

The combination of poor fielding and the inability to hit the baseball out of the infield against th
PHOTOGRAPHER:

The combination of poor fielding and the inability to hit the baseball out of the infield against the Oneonta Tigers on Friday made for an ugly home opener for the

Tri-City ValleyCats.

The ’Cats committed five errors for the second time this season, leading to five unearned runs, and they hit into 13 groundouts. The result was a 9-1 New York-Penn League loss to the Tigers before a sellout crowd of 4,583 at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.

Tri-City (1-3) made five errors in Wednesday’s 7-6 win over the Lowell Spinners and has 15 errors in its first four games.

To make matters worse, the ’Cats had just three hits, and only one of them got out of the infield.

“It’s not the opening night that we envisioned, that’s for certain,” Tri-City manager Pete Rancont said. “We didn’t pitch well, we played poor defense and we didn’t move the ball enough, either. I have to take my hat off to their pitching.”

Tigers starter David Stokes

(1-0) gave up a run — Ebert Ros­ario’s fourth-inning sacrifice fly — on three hits in six innings. The right-hander struck out two and walked two, and he also committed two errors. But he got the ’Cats to hit into 10 groundouts.

Reliever Anthony Shawler fanned five and walked one in three no-hit innings to earn the save.

Designated hitter J.B. Shuck was the only Tri-City batter to get a hit out of the infield with a single to left in the third inning. The other singles were a bunt hit by center fielder T.J. Steele in the first, and an infield hit by Marques Johnson in the third. Johnson, who went to second on a throwing error by Stokes, was thrown out at home by left fielder Hayden Parrott on Shuck’s single.

“They were mixing it up very well, off-speed and good location,” Shuck said. “They were keeping it low, and hitting their spots.”

An error by shortstop Jeff Hulett on Mike Gosse’s grounder leading off the fifth allowed the Tigers

(3-1) to score two unearned runs. A throwing error by catcher Reinaldo Pestana and a fielding error by third baseman Rosario led to two more unearned runs in the sixth.

One of two runs scored by Oneonta in the eighth was unearned. First baseman Phil Disher dropped Hulett’s throw on Keith Stein’s grounder, one of two errors Disher committed. Stein went to second on Kyle Godfrey’s wild pitch and scored on Bryan Pounds’ double. Pounds, who had a two-run single in the second off starter Jarred Holloway (0-1), scored on Joe Bowen’s double.

“We haven’t gotten on the field much,” Hulett said. “I think we’ve maybe had a day and a half of practice, and we’ve played four games. A lot of guys are playing different positions. A lot of guys are learning a lot of new stuff. I think it will get better as we go along.”

ONEONTA TRI-CITY

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Guez cf 4 1 0 0 Shuck dh 4 0 1 0

Guzman ss 5 1 2 0 Hulett ss 2 1 0 0

Parrott lf 5 0 2 2 Steele cf 3 0 1 0

Rmirez dh 4 0 1 1 Disher 1b 4 0 0 0

Weber ph 1 0 0 0 Rosario 3b 2 0 0 1

Lamont 1b 5 1 1 0 Meier rf 4 0 0 0

Stein rf 3 3 2 0 Simunic 2b 2 0 0 0

Pounds 3b 4 1 2 3 Pestana c 3 0 0 0

Bowen c 4 1 2 1 Wllms lf 3 0 1 0

Gosse 2b 4 1 0 0

Totals 39 9 12 7 Totals 27 1 3 1

Oneonta 021 022 020 — 9

Tri-City 000 100 000 — 1

E—Stokes 2 (2), Pounds (1), Lamont (1), Hulett (2), Pestana (2), Rosario (2), Disher 2 (3). DP—Oneonta 2, Tri-City 3. LOB—Oneonta 5, Tri-City 5. 2B—Stein (1), Pounds (1), Bowen (1). SB—Stein (2), Bowen (1). CS—Steele (1). S—Steele. SF—Rosario.

IP H R ER BB SO

Oneonta

Stokes W,1-0 6 3 1 0 2 2

Shawler S,1 3 0 0 0 1 5

Tri-City

Holloway L,0-1 2 6 3 3 1 1

Rummel 3 3 2 0 0 2

Hacker 1 1 2 0 1 1

Godfrey 2 2 2 1 0 1

Rivers 1 0 0 0 0 0

Holloway pitched to 3 batters in the 3rd.

HBP—by Stokes (Simunic). WP—Rummel, Godfrey.

Umpires—Home, Matt Jones; Bases, Matt Moisan.

T—2:30. A—4,583.

Reach Gazette Sportswriter Ken Schott at 395-3159 or [email protected] Read Schott’s take on minor league baseball any time by checking out his blog, Parting Schotts, at www.-dailygazette.com/weblogs/schott.

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