TROY, NY - The Tri-City ValleyCats had a few chances to tie the game late, but the Brooklyn Cyclones held strong as the 'Cats dropped the final game of the 2013 regular season Wednesday night 4-2.
The first inning featured a pair of pitchers both on rehabilitation starts. Edgar Gonzalez pitched a clean 1-2-3 inning for Tri-City, but highly-touted Mets prospect Jeurys Familia allowed an unearned run in the bottom of the first. Lead-off hitter Jack Mayfield would hit an infield single and advanced on an error by L.J. Mazzilli. Mayfield scored on a RBI groundout by Tyler White.
The ValleyCats tacked on another run in the bottom of the second. Catcher Ernesto Genoves walked with two outs and went first-to-third on a single by Jon Kemmer. Ydarqui Marte singled to center to score the second ValleyCats run.
Troy Scribner relieved Gonzalez in the top of the second. He made only one mistake over his three innings of work. Juan Gamboa hit the first pitch from Scribner in the third inning and crushed it over the right-center field wall to trim the 'Cats lead in half 2-1. That was the only hit allowed by the ValleyCats pitcher. Scribner only walked one and struck out five.
"He threw the ball pretty good," said Manager Ed Romero. "I didn't want to extend him just in case we need him [in the playoffs]. He could have pitched longer in this game."
Randall Fant took over for Scribner in the top of the fifth and did not record a single out. Fant allowed the first four batters to reach base, three walks and a hit-by-pitch, before he was pulled for Krishawn Holley. Holley struck out Jonathan Clarke for the first out, but a single to Ismael Tijerina and a wild pitch gave the Cyclones a 4-2 lead.
Tri-City had many chances tonight, but was only 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base.
"We got a run early, we got ahead, and we got into a little trouble in the middle with some walks," said Tyler White. "We got a lot of hits it seemed like, but we couldn't score."
The ValleyCats open the semi-final round against the McNamara Division winners, the Aberdeen IronBirds on Friday in Aberdeen. The 'Cats will return home Saturday night for game two, with a potential game three lined up for Sunday evening.
"We're ready. We're focused. We're ready to go," said Romero.
"I heard it's a good atmosphere [in Aberdeen]. I'm excited to start the playoffs. Should be good games every day. We have our guys on the mound and we're ready to go," said White.
Games one and two start at 7pm, while game three would start at 5pm. The ValleyCats starting rotation for the opening round series will be: Michael Feliz (game one), Kyle Westwood (game two), and Evan Grills (game three). Tickets are still available on tcvalleycats.com or by calling 518-629-CATS.