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Season Begins Tonight at Joe Bruno Stadium
06/18/2010 2:09 PM ET
The Tri-City ValleyCats open the 2010 season tonight at Joe Bruno Stadium as they host the Connecticut Tigers. This is the first time the ValleyCats have started their season at "The Joe" since 2006, when they lost 7-6 to the Tigers. Opening day has not been kind to Tri-City, which has lost five consecutive season openers. The pitching matchup features Carlos Quevedo (0-0, 0.00 ERA) for the hosts against Connecticut's Clemente Mendoza (0-0, 0.00).

The ValleyCats finished in fourth place in the Stedler Division last season with a 27-48 record. Tri-City won the division title in 2006, but has finished in the basement every year since. The Tigers went 35-39 to finish in second place, 9.5 games behind division-leading Lowell. This will be the first game played by the Connecticut Tigers, as the team moved from Oneonta in the offseason.

Quevedo, an international signing from Venezuela, is now in his fourth year with the Astros' organization. He posted a 2.32 ERA in 2007 and 1.98 in 2008 in the Venezuelan Summer League, earning a promotion to Greenville. Last year in the Appalachian League, Quevedo went just 2-7 with a 5.60 ERA in 54.2 innings, but fanned 55 batters while issuing only nine walks. The 20-year-old righty throws his fastball in the low-90s, setting up a curveball, slider and changeup.

Mendoza is returning for his second season in the New York-Penn League at the tender age of 19. The righty, also from Venezuela, went 5-5 with a 3.19 ERA for the Tigers last season. n 73.1 innings of work, Mendoza struck out 50 batters while only walking 19, and surrendered only three home runs.

Tri-City went just 3-10 against the Tigers last season, including five Oneonta shutouts. The two teams were also troubled by weather, as five contests were postponed or cancelled due to rain; fortunately, the forecast is hot and sunny for all three games this weekend. Connecticut leads the all-time series, 59-45.

Tonight's game starts at 7 pm. The ValleyCats will be kicking off the "Season of the 1,000,000th Fan" with a schedule magnet giveaway, sponsored by Garelick Farms. There will be a fireworks show following the game.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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