TROY — The Tri-City ValleyCats seem to love walk-off victories this season, as they recorded their fifth such win in seven victories at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium Tuesday, a 6-5 decision against the Brooklyn Cyclones.
The ValleyCats’ latest walk-off win came in style, as designated hitter Nathan Perry blasted a two-run home run in the 10th inning.
“I was really excited. I knew it was a home run as soon as he hit it,” said ValleyCats center fielder Preston Pavlica, who was on second base when Perry delivered his game-winning hit. “On the bases, you’re supposed to tag up, but I didn’t know what to do — but I knew it was a home run. I pretty much just watched it. It was a great win.”
Perry’s home run was the final of three on the day for the ValleyCats.
“It was awesome. Going into that at-bat, that’s just what you wish for as a kid — to come up in a situation like that,” said Perry, who along with shortstop Bryan Arias registered two hits in Tuesday’s win. “To put a great swing on it was incredible. My family was in the stands. My birthday was yesterday.
“It was too good to be true.”
But it was true, and the late-game home run helped the ValleyCats win a game that featured multiple lead changes. A two-out, three-run homer from Pavlica in the seventh inning put the ValleyCats ahead 4-2, but the Cyclones sent the game into extra innings with a pair of RBI doubles in the ninth.
Brooklyn scored on a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to go ahead, but Perry’s home run sealed Tri-City’s win.
ValleyCats reliever Michael Horrell gave up a run in the 10th inning, but earned the win with 1 1/3 innings of work. Prior to that, ValleyCats starting pitcher Juan Pablo Lopez allowed one earned run in five innings, while Valente Bellozo allowed two runs in 3 2/3 innings.
Luis Silva took the loss for Brooklyn without recording an out.
For the ValleyCats, Wilyer Abreu also went deep in the win, notching his first professional home run after being in the Houston Astros organization for three years.
The win pushed the ValleyCats record to 9-14 in the New York-Penn League, and allowed them to close off the three-game series with two straight wins against the Cyclones.
The ValleyCats will be at home again Wednesday, as they will attempt to push their winning streak to three when they start their three-game series against the State College Spikes at 7 p.m.
The ValleyCats have started to pick up steam at the plate. Tri-City has hit four home runs in its last two games, something manager Ozney Guillen credited to the team beginning to pick up the Astros batting system.
“I’ve been talking about [the fact] that they’re adapting to the system,” Guillen said. “They’re taking to it and sticking to the plan now. I think the fear of losing or doing bad at it is gone, which is a good thing and they’re going to go up and swing. We’ve had way better at bats over the past two days, and it’s been showing every day, and they’re getting better and better.”
Brooklyn 020 000 002 1 — 5 12 1
Tri-City 001 000 300 2 — 6 8 3
Tyrell Feaster is an intern at The Daily Gazette. Feaster, a junior at the University at Albany, is majoring in journalism.