It may have taken a late charge to reach the postseason, but the Tri-City ValleyCats advanced for the first time in four years Sunday before they even set foot on the field for their final regular season game.
Leading the Connecticut Tigers in the New York-Penn League's Stedler Division by half a game with one to play, the 'Cats were assured of seeing their first playoff action since 2006 when the Tigers squandered a pair of extra-inning leads in an 8-7 loss to the Aberdeen IronBirds earlier in the afternoon.
Tri-City (38-36) ended up losing its own game Sunday to the Brooklyn Cyclones, 6-5. The ValleyCats finished the season by taking four of six on the final road trip, but really made their move in the division by winning four consecutive games against the Tigers in seven days in mid-August.
Tri-City has been led by 22-year-old outfielder Daniel Adamson, who tops the club in homers (nine), RBIs (35) and triples (four) and is second in runs (33) and stolen bases (11). The team ranks second overall in the 14-team New York-Penn League with 50 homers behind Brooklyn.
On the mound, 6-foot-1 right-hander Carlos Quevedo paces the team in wins (seven) and innings pitched (85 1/3), while the staff has a combined ERA of 3.39, good enough for third behind Brooklyn and Jamestown Jammers.
The last time the ValleyCats made it to the postseason was in 2006, when they swept the Auburn Doubledays before falling in three games to the league champion Staten Island Yankees.
Tri-City will host Pinckney Division winner Batavia in Game 1 of the best-of-3 series Tuesday, before going on the road for the second game and, if necessary, the third. The ValleyCats were 1-2 against the Muckdogs this season.
The Jammers picked up the Wild Card and a first-round matchup against the McNamara Division champion Cyclones following Williamsport's 6-2 loss to the State College Spikes on Sunday. The best-of-3 series opens Tuesday in Jamestown.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.