TROY, NY - After beginning the 2019 campaign on the road and seeing their scheduled home opener postponed due to rain, the Tri-City ValleyCats took down Staten Island Monday evening to begin play at home. The 'Cats found their first win of the 2019 season in 10 innings, outlasting the Yankees 2-1 at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.
Following the unveiling of the team's 2018 New York-Penn League Championship banner at the ballpark, Tri-City and Staten Island opened up the affair with a pitcher's duel, as starters Lupe Chavez and Brian Keller tossed five and six innings of scoreless ball, respectively. Armed with 2019 Houston Astros First Round Pick Korey Lee, the 'Cats defense stranded six Yankees on the base paths in the first five innings, despite being unable to push a runner past third themselves.
With both teams entering the night in search of their first win of the season, Staten Island (0-3) broke the scoreless tie in the top of the seventh innning while sending six men to the plate in the frame. Placing runners on first and second off Tri-City reliever Jervic Chavez, a two-out wild pitch allowed Carlos Narvaez to give the Yankees a 1-0 advantage. The lead would hold until the bottom of the ninth, when second basemen Yeuris Ramirez evend the score with a towering solo shot to left center for his first home run of the season.
Taking part in the first extra-inning affair of the year in the New York-Penn League, the ValleyCats used the recently added extra inning tiebreaker rule to their advantage. Following a hook up from Lee and third baseman Joe Perez to keep Yankees runner Miguel Flames from reaching home safely in the top of the 10th, Tri-City's Deury Carrasco was moved to third on a ground out and ended the game by scoring on a wild pitch from Staten Island reliever Josh Maciejewski.
Coming in to pitch the final two innings of the night, right-hander Hansel Paulino (1-0) earned the win, recording a pair of strikeouts to hold down the fort. Maciejewski (0-1) was tagged with the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) on just one hit and striking out three in three and one-third innings on the mound. Ramirez continued his hot start to the season by leading the ValleyCats offensively, going two-for-four, with the long ball adding a run and an RBI.
Following their first win of the 2019 season, the Tri-City ValleyCats will head back out on the road for a three-game series with the Aberdeen IronBirds in Maryland. Baseball will return to "The Joe" on Friday, June 21 at 7:00 p.m., with the 'Cats hosting the Vermont Lake Monsters to open up a three-game home stand.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.