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What you need to know for 01/22/2017

ValleyCats vs. Vermont: Big hit eludes 'Cats

ValleyCats vs. Vermont: Big hit eludes 'Cats

Tri-City ValleyCats manager Ed Romero closed the locker room for about 10 minutes after the game to

Tri-City ValleyCats manager Ed Romero closed the locker room for about 10 minutes after the game to discuss a lack of focus with men on base.

Perhaps the ValleyCats were a little rusty after their two-day break for the All-Star game.

Tri-City had plenty of scoring opportunities, but the ValleyCats couldn’t come through when they needed to, and they lost their New York-Penn League game to the Vermont Lake Monsters, 3-1, Wednesday at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.

Tri-City collected nine hits, and the ’Cats had runners in scoring position in the first, second, third, fifth, sixth, eighth and ninth innings. Yet they scored just one run.

“Basically, that’s was the game. That was the whole game for us. We had a lot of guys on base, but we couldn’t get the big hit,” Romero said. “I told the guys to pay more attention in that situation. I told them to look for a certain zone. We took too many fastball strikes with men in scoring position today. I was just reminding them after the game to attack the zone more.

“We just had two days off, and the guys just needed a few reminders.”

Tri-City starter Robert Kahana struggled. He allowed two runs and eight hits over 32⁄3 innings before being lifted for Chris Munnelly, who stopped the bleeding with 21⁄3 innings of scoreless relief.

“I felt good tonight,” Munnelly said. “I was just trying to keep us in the game and do some damage control. I was attacking the zone with my pitches.”

Munnelly was involved in one of the game’s numerous strange plays. With two outs in the fifth inning, Trent Gilbert bounced a ball right back to Munnelly, who threw to first to retire the side. The ValleyCats ran off the field, but Vermont manager David Newhan had a discussion with the umpires, and it was decided that the ball hit off Gilbert’s foot and was foul.

The ’Cats had to come back on the field, but Munnelly struck out Gilbert anyway.

“I didn’t know what happened, but they said the ball hit off the guy’s foot,” said Munnelly. “So I thought the right thing to do was to strike him out.”

Vermont scored a run in the second on a double by John Nogowski and an RBI single by Ben McQuown.

The Lake Monsters extended their lead in the fourth on a two-base error by Ariel Ovando and an RBI single by Jose Chavez.

The ValleyCats got on the board in the sixth. Nick Tanieulu and Jamie Ritchie walked, and with two outs, Ovando redeemed himself with an RBI single to center.

But Vermont got an insurance run in the eighth when Angel Heredia allowed a walk to Max Kuhn and an RBI double to Gilbert.

The 42-22 ValleyCats are still leading the Stedler Division, but Romero said his team can’t rest on its laurels.

“We’ve still got to go out and take it. We’ve got to do this ourselves. We can’t wait for other teams to help us,” he said.

VERMONT TRI-CITY

ab r h bi ab r h bi

Munoz ss 4 0 1 0 Hyde ss 5 0 2 0

Masik rf 5 0 2 0 Martin cf 4 0 1 0

Sportman cf 4 0 1 0 Fisher lf 5 0 1 0

Brizuela 3b 4 0 1 0 Tanielu 3b 3 1 0 0

Kuhn dh 3 1 0 0 Ritchie dh 3 0 0 0

Gilbert 2b 4 0 1 1 Joyce rf 3 0 1 0

Nogowski 1b 4 1 1 0 Hrnandz 2b 3 0 1 0

McQuown lf 4 1 2 1 Ovando 1b 4 0 2 0

Chavez c 4 0 1 0 Rodriguez c 3 0 0 0

Gingras ph 1 0 1 0

Gonzalez pr 0 0 0 0

Totals 36 3 10 3 Totals 34 1 9 1

Vermont 010 100 010—3

Tri-City 000 001 000—1

E—Munoz (17), Chavez (2), Ovando (5). DP—Vermont 2, Tri-City 1. LOB—Vermont 8, Tri-City 11. 2B—Nogowski (5), Gilbert (4), Joyce (12). SB—Fisher (15).

IP H R ER BB SO

Vermont

Miller 4 2-3 6 0 0 1 3

Fagan 1-3 0 0 0 1 0

Schwrtz W,1-1 2 1 1 1 2 2

Walter 1 0 0 0 0 0

Gauna S,9 1 2 0 0 1 0

Tri-City

Kahana L,0-2 3 2-3 8 2 1 0 4

Munnelly 2 1-3 0 0 0 0 1

Vaughn 1 0 0 0 0 0

Heredia 2 2 1 1 1 1

HBP—by Vaughn (Munoz), by Walter (Joyce).

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

T—3:17. A—4,451.

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