Pitching Duo Leads Cats in Second Straight Victory
By Lance Jones
The dynamic duo of Trent Valentine (Iona) and Lucas Reid (Sacramento City) kept the Rochester offense silenced and the Border Cats racked up ten hits to pace themselves to a 3-1 over the Honkers. Another strong performance from both pitching staffs kept the game tight and anxious for both sides. With the win the Cats move to 2-7 while Rochester drops to 5-4. The Cats will earn at least a split of the four game series.
Valentine’s (1-1) was stunning in his first win. He had only three base runners to contend with through five innings of work as he faced only three over the minimum. In addition Valentine struck out the side in a three up three down second inning. Valentine would finish with five punch outs in five and a third, walking only two and allowing four hits with one earned run.
Valentine would run into trouble in the sixth inning and Reid would be there to back his teammate. Inheriting a bases loaded situation with just one out, Reid would get the ground ball he was looking for to get out of the inning. Unfortunately, it was a slow roller off the bat of Mitchell Allen (New Mexico St.) and allowed Evan Berkey (Cal St.-Bakersfield) to score. But Reid would get another ground out to stop anything else from happening.
Reid would no-hit the Honkers the rest of the way. Berkey getting hit with a pitch would be the only runner the Honkers would get. But Reid even solved that hiccup by picking him off of first base in a run down. Reid would strike out four over three and two thirds innings for his first save of the season.
The Border Cats offense was no slouch and took advantage of enough situations to get by. Thomas Grilli (Panola) and Nate Soriano (Houston Baptist) picked up base hits to lead of the third inning off of Honkers starter Ryan Dorney (Saint Martins). Anthony Galati (Sacramento City), looking for his first hit of the series picked up an RBI single to put Thunder Bay up 1-0.
A scary moment started the fourth when Ryne Edmondson (Houston Baptist) was buckled by the first pitch in the inning, a hard thrown slider by Dorney. Edmondson would be fine but would be pegged in the foot by Jakob Newton’s (Florida Tech) ground ball two batters later and be called out. Newton would swipe second with one of two stolen bases on the day. That allowed Alexander Hernandez (Nova Southeastern) to come up with a massive two-strike two-out sharp shot to left field that plated Newton. Hernandez and Newton would finish the game with two each. Eight hitters in the lineup picked up hits for the Border Cats.
Thunder Bay would pick up a 3-0 lead on an Edmondson’s single up the middle that scored Karsten Vasquez (Sacramento City) from second base.
Honkers starter Dorney (1-1) who pitched a gem against Thunder Bay a couple nights back was a tough luck loser. He pitched well enough to win striking out three and walking two while spreading six hits. He allowed three earned runs but couldn’t get enough offensive support. Marc Bisigno (Fordham) and Logan Nissen (Bethany Lutheran) gave the Honkers great work out of the pen and a chance to get back in the game. They combined for three shutout innings and four strikeouts.
The Border Cats look to win the four game series and tie the season series in the series finale. The final game of the home stand is a matinee starting at 11:05am as it is the first of two school day games on the calendar.