TROY, NY - Led by 18-year-old Jairo Lopez (2-2), three ValleyCats pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts and an impressive evening from the team defensively Saturday at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. Offensively, the 'Cats out-hit the Vermont Lake Monsters, 8-3, en-route to a 3-1 victory to kick off their final series of the 2019 season.
With both teams already eliminated from New York-Penn League playoff contention, the ValleyCats (31-42, 14-16) held a perfect game through three innings,with Lopez matching his career high in strikeouts (8) while allowing just a single hit in five innings to start.
The lineup brought offensive backing in the bottom of the third, with Luis Santana and Luis Guerrero each sending in runs off RBI singles to give the 'Cats a 2-0 lead.
Nate Perry tacked on an insurance run in the fourth with his 12th home run of the season to right field, allowing him to take sole possession of third place in the team's single-season record books.
Following five innings from Michael Murray (3-1), who conceded three runs off seven hits while striking out four, the Lake Monsters (33-41, 13-16) avoided the shutout in the top of the seventh, with Kevin Richards sending in a run with an RBI single.
Right-hander Danny Cody closed the game out on the mound for the 'Cats, picking up his first professional save by striking out a pair in two innings.
Now holding a 5-4 advantage in the season series, the ValleyCats will look to take home both the weekend and season head-to-head on Sunday, September 1. First pitch is set for 5:00 p.m. from "The Joe".
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.