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Denis Phipps Drives in Seven, 'Cats Win Big

Birthday Boy Launches Two Homers in Victory
July 23, 2022

TROY, NY - The Tri-City ValleyCats and Gateway Grizzlies began a weekend series at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium on Friday night. Joey Gonzalez would get the ball for the ValleyCats in the series opener, while the Grizzlies sent right hander Carson LaRue to the hill. Gonzalez would induce three fly

TROY, NY - The Tri-City ValleyCats and Gateway Grizzlies began a weekend series at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium on Friday night.

Joey Gonzalez would get the ball for the ValleyCats in the series opener, while the Grizzlies sent right hander Carson LaRue to the hill.

Gonzalez would induce three fly outs in the top half of the first inning, working the first inning on just 13 pitches. The 'Cats came to bat in the bottom half of the first, and would get on the board with a pair of home runs, a solo shot from Brantley Bell and a two-run homer from Denis Phipps would allow the ValleyCats to jump out to a 3-0 lead.

Newest ValleyCat Cito Culver would drive in a run in the bottom of the second inning on a fielder's choice that extended the lead to 4-0. The top of the third would be the first bit of trouble Gonzalez would run into. The ValleyCats starter would surrender two solo home runs, one from Ian Bibiloni and the other from outfielder Isaac Benard cut the 'Cats lead in half, making it 4-2.

The bottom halves of the third and fourth innings were all ValleyCats. Brad Zunica would launch his first of two homers in the third inning, a solo shot that cleared every level of fencing in right field. The 'Cats would add three more runs in the bottom half of the fourth inning, three runs would cross the plate. An RBI double from Culver got the scoring going, then Brantley Bell and Denis Phipps followed with singles that each plated a run.

Tri-City's offensive reign of terror continued in the seventh inning. Zunica would lead things off with a line drive home run into the visitors bullpen, making it a 9-2 game. An RBI walk from Tyler Krabbe and a sac fly from Culver added two more runs, giving the 'Cats a nine run cushion. With the bases still loaded, Pavin Parks would walk, plating Joey Campagna. Phipps would turn on an inside fastball, launching a grand slam on to the berm in left center field, plating the eighth run of the inning, giving the 'Cats a 16-2 lead.

Gateway would add two runs to their total on a two-RBI double from Kevin Krause in the bottom of the eighth inning, but that would be all the offense they could muster.

FINAL | (29-29) TRI-CITY 16 (29-29) GATEWAY 4

W: JOEY GONZALEZ (6-1)

L: CARSON LARUE (2-3)

SV: NONE

ATTENDANCE: 3,407

The Tri-City ValleyCats and Gateway Grizzlies return to the field at The Joe tomorrow night for Star Wars Night! First pitch is scheduled for 7 PM. Get your tickets today by calling 518-629-CATS, visiting the team’s box office, or logging on to tcvalleycats.com.