TROY - Taylor Jones drove in two runs in a four-run sixth inning, but the rally was not enough as the Tri-City ValleyCats (37-37)v fell, 5-4, to the Staten Island Yankees in front of 5,714 fans at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium Saturday. The game was the final home contest of the ValleyCats' 2016 campaign.
The Yankees built their lead early, scoring one run in the second inning, two in the third, and two in the fourth. However, Tri-City's bats came alive in the sixth frame. With one out, Carmen Benedetti and Chuckie Robinson hit back-to-back singles. Then Ronnie Dawson hit a ground ball off of the glove of Staten Island first baseman Dalton Blaser, scoring Benedetti. One batter later, Jones singled to left field, bringing home both Robinson and Dawson. Following a ground-rule double by Connor Goedert, Bryan De La Cruz brought home Jones with an RBI groundout to cap the scoring, and turn a 5-0 deficit into a 5-4 one-run game.
Unfortunately, that was the last of the scoring, as both teams traded zeros for the final three frames, and the Yankees held on for the 5-4 win.
With the victory, Staten Island (42-31) secured a birth in the 2016 New York-Penn League Playoffs as the wild card team.
Leading the way offensively for the 'Cats was Benedetti, who finished 2-for-4, with one run scored.
Carlos Sanabria got the start for Tri-City, allowing five runs (three earned) in 3.2 frames. Sean Stutzman and Ricardo Castro combined to strike out 10 batters in 5.2 innings of relief for the 'Cats.
Castro, a right-hander who rejoined Tri-City on September 1 after spending most of the season with Greeneville in the Appalachian League, tied a career-high with seven strikeouts, allowing only one hit and one walk in four innings.
NEXT UP: Tri-City heads out on a two-game road trip to wrap up the 2016 season against the Connecticut Tigers. On the mound for the 'Cats Sunday in game one of the series is left-hander Ryan Hartman (2-0, 2.59), with fellow lefty Gregory Soto (3-2, 2.91) getting the start for the Tigers.