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ValleyCats vs. Aberdeen: Ritchie sparks Tri-City

ValleyCats vs. Aberdeen: Ritchie sparks Tri-City

With their top two run producers not in the lineup, the Tri-City ValleyCats needed someone to come u
ValleyCats vs. Aberdeen: Ritchie sparks Tri-City
Tri City Valley Cats pitcher Jordan Mill, takes over on the mound at Joe Bruno Stadium in the 8th inning Wednesday, July 16, 2014.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

With their top two run producers not in the lineup, the Tri-City ValleyCats needed someone to come up with big at-bats Wednesday night against Aberdeen as they returned to Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.

It was catcher Jamie Ritchie who answered the call, driving in three runs as the ValleyCats beat the IronBirds, 5-3, before a crowd of 4,848 on Veterans and Military Appreciation night. Ritchie hit a two-run double to break a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning, and added a sacrifice fly in the seventh as the Stedler Division leaders (21-11) opened a six-game homestand.

Joe Musgrove (2-1) picked up the win with five innings of two-hit, nine-strikeout relief. Both hits were solo homers. The strikeouts came against a team that has now whiffed 273 times. Derick Vazquez got the final three outs to earn his second save. The Cats came back from a six-day road trip without third baseman J.D. Davis (promoted to full-season Class A Quad City) and first baseman A.J. Reed (in Los Ang­eles as a Golden Spikes Award finalist).

Second baseman Juan Santana made his first start after being promoted from Greeneville (Tenn.) of the Appalachian League. The 19-year-old undrafted free agent was batting .368 in 21 games.

Without his two top power hitters (a combined eight homers, 42 RBI), manager Ed Rom­ero moved Nick Tanielu into the cleanup spot, and hit Santana No. 2, with June first-round pick Derek Fisher in the three hole. But it was Ritchie, hitting in the No. 6 spot, who came up with the big at-bats as the ’Cats downed the last-place team in the McNamara Division.

“My confidence is pretty high,” said Ritchie, a 13th-round draft choice out of Belmont University last month. “With J.D. moving up and A.J. gone for a few days, we talked about it before the game. Somebody has to step up. Fortunately, I was that guy tonight.”

Reed, who was hitting .311 with three home runs and a team-best 22 RBI, is not expected to rejoin Tri-City until Saturday’s home game against State College.

The 6-foot-4, 240-pounder hit .336 with 23 home runs, 73 RBI and .733 slugging percentage in his junior year at Kentucky. The left-hander also went 12-2 with a 2.09 ERA on the mound for the Wildcats.

“Ritchie, he’s very clutch,” said Romero. “It seems he gets his base hits at the right time. Every night, it’s someone different, whether its offense, defense or on the mound. That’s the sign of a good team.”

ValleyCats starting pitcher Bryan Radziewski gave up hits to the IronBirds’ first two batters, but with runners on first and third, he got out of trouble when he picked Oswil Lartiguez off first base and shortstop Mott Hyde threw out Aberdeen leadoff hitter Jay Gonzalez at the plate after fielding Austin Anderson’s chopper.

Radziewski’s teammates got him a run in the home first, courtesy of two Aberdeen errors, the run scoring when Derek Fisher hit into a double play.

Jamill Moquette welcomed Musgrove with a solo homer to right leading off the Aberdeen third.


ab r h bi ab r h bi

Gonzlez cf 4 0 1 0 Boyd cf 5 1 3 0

Lartgez rf 4 0 1 0 Santana 2b 2 1 1 0

Andersn dh 4 1 1 0 Fisher lf 4 2 2 0

Murphy c 4 0 0 0 Taniulu 3b 4 0 1 0

Wilkrsn 2b 4 0 0 0 Bottger rf 4 0 0 0

Veloz 1b 4 1 2 2 Ritchie c 3 1 2 3

Castgnni 3b 3 0 0 0 Joyce dh 4 0 0 0

Murphy ph 1 0 0 0 Ovando 1b 3 0 2 0

Moquete lf 3 1 1 1 Hyde ss 3 0 0 1

Viele ss 2 0 0 0

Totals 33 3 6 3 Totals 31 5 11 4

Aberdeen 001 100 001—3

Tri-City 100 120 10x—5

E—Viele (5), Murphy (3), Musgrove 2 (2). DP—Aberdeen 1. LOB—Aberdeen 4, Tri-City 12. 2B—Anderson (4), Ritchie (7), Boyd (5). HR—Moquete (2), Veloz (4). SB—Boyd (7), Tanieulu (1), Fisher (4). S—Santana. SF—Hyde, Ritchie.



Tarpley 4 4 2 0 3 2

Delgado L,1-2 2 2-3 6 3 3 1 1

Walker 1 1-3 1 0 0 1 1


Radzwski 2 2 0 0 0 1

Musgrve W,2-1 5 2 2 2 1 9

Mills 1 1 1 1 0 2

Velzqz S,2 1 3 1 0 0 0 2

Mills pitched to 1 batter in 9th.

HBP—Bottger (by Delgado).

IBB—Fisher (by Walker).

Umpires—Home, Brandin Sheeler; First, Anthony Perez.

T—2:35. A—4,848.

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