AUBURN, N.Y. - The Auburn Doubledays (24-16) fell for the second straight night to the Tri-City ValleyCats (30-11) on Sunday, this time losing 9-4 in front of 1,338 at Falcon Park.
The ValleyCats got on the board early and often, scoring all nine of their runs in the first five innings. In the first inning it was back-to-back solo homeruns from CF Andrew Aplin and 1B Jobduan Morales that put Tri-City ahead 2-0. However, Auburn struck right back in the bottom of the frame thanks to an RBI single from 1B Carlos Lopez. Lopez's single brought 2B Tony Renda home from third, making it a one-run game after one inning.
That's as close as the Doubledays would come all night, because the ValleyCats tacked on three more runs in the second. They sent eight men to the plate in the inning, collecting three singles and being helped out by two Auburn errors. Both Doubledays errors were committed by SS James Brooks (one throwing and one fielding), and the errors meant all three runs scored in the inning went down as unearned.
In the fourth Tri-City stretched its lead to 7-1, this time taking advantage of some wildness from Doubledays LHP Jack McGeary. McGeary hit the first two batters of the inning, putting two on with no outs. After a fly out to left, Aplin drove in the runner from second with a line drive single to right. That was it for McGeary, but his line was not finished as the second batter he hit scored on another single to right, this time off the bat of Morales.
The final two ValleyCats runs came in the fifth thanks to two costly fielding errors by Renda and 3B Anthony Rendon. At the time of Renda's error there were already two runners in scoring position because of a double hit by Tri-City RF Emilio King. Left fielder Preston Tucker, who was at third after King's double, scored on Renda's error while King advanced to third. King then scored on the error by Rendon, stretching the ValleyCats lead to eight.
Auburn tried to muster a comeback in the bottom of the fifth when they were able to take advantage of two Tri-City errors by plating two runs, but a base-running mistake by Rendon halted the Doubledays rally early. The last Auburn run came in the seventh on another RBI single from Lopez, who finished the night 3 for 4 with a walk.
Starting RHP Silvio Medina (0-1) ended up taking the loss for the Doubledays, lasting just 1.2 innings and being charged for five runs (two earned) on four hits. His counterpart, LHP Joe Bircher, got the win for Tri-City by going five innings and allowing three runs (one earned) on five hits while walking three and striking out four.
The Doubledays wrap-up their three-game series with the ValleyCats on Monday, July 30. Auburn will send LHP Brett Mooneyham (0-0) to the mound for his fourth start of the year. He will square off against RHP Brady Rodgers (4-1) for Tri-City. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm. Mondays at Falcon Park this summer are "All-You-Can-Eat", meaning you can buy a General Admissions ticket, and unlimited hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn, soda, and water for just $20. Upgrade to a box seat and it's only $25. Lapell Pins will also be handed out on Monday courtesy of Savannah Bank. Tickets available by calling the Doubledays box office at 315-255-2489 or by going online to www.auburndoubledays.com.