Walk-off hero: Shaver's slam sweeps Cyclones

'Cats belt four home runs in comeback victory

Colton Shaver connects on his first home run of the day, a solo shot in the second. (Mark Shelley / Tri-City ValleyCats)

By Peter Fiorentino / Tri-City ValleyCats | August 21, 2017 10:25 PM


TROY - With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Colton Shaver launched his second walk-off grand slam of the season to hand the Brooklyn Cyclones their tenth loss in a row, and complete the three game sweep. The slam, which travelled 384 feet to left field, was his second home run of the day. 

With the win, the 'Cats kept pace with the Vermont Lake Monsters, who also won Monday, and remain two games back in the Stedler Division. Tri-City also picked up a game on the Aberdeen IronBirds in the Wild Card race, and are two games back as well. 

The ValleyCats (30-27), who improved to 7-3 in the season series against Brooklyn, struck first with Shaver's solo home run in the bottom of the second, before Brooklyn pounced on 'Cats starter Adam Bleday for four runs in the fourth. Michael Papierski responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the fourth, to pull within two. 

Both teams traded a run in the sixth, starting with a Jose Maria (4) solo shot to left. In the bottom of the frame, Kyle Davis poked a single to center, scoring Gabriel Bracamonte to make it a 5-3 ballgame. 

In the seventh, Andy Pineda reached first on a rare error by 2B Walter Rasquin (4). Matijevic then belted his second home run in as many days, a towering drive to right-centerfield that landed over the second wall, 417 feet from home plate. 

The score didn't stay tied for long. With the game tied 5-5, Adrian Tovalin and Sierra committed errors, and Matijevic misplayed a ball in left to allow Brooklyn to score the go-ahead run. 

Ben Smith (6-2) walked a batter to lead off the ninth, before settling down to record three straight outs to eventually earn his sixth win in his team-leading 16th appearance. 

Down 6-5 in the ninth, Pineda popped out to start the inning, and things looked grim for the 'Cats, who improved to 3-21 when trailing after eight innings. De La Cruz doubled to put the tying run at second, and the Cyclones elected to intentionally walk Matijevc to put the wining run on first base. Bracamonte struck out, and Tovalin ripped a ball down the third base line - originally ruled a hit, and later changed to an error on Carl Stajduhar. 

With runners on first and second, Papierski walked to load the bases, and Shaver capped it with the walk-off slam. 

Brooklyn's Joe Napolitano (0-2) took the loss, surrendering all five unearned runs in the ninth. 

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED: Neither team scored in the fifth. Juan Robles came on for Bleday and tossed a 1-2-3 inning. Andy Pineda singled, then stole second and third. De La Cruz walked and stole second, but then Matijevic struck out with runners on second and third to end the inning. 

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS: Brooklyn out-hit the 'Cats in all three games, and 36-27 overall. Tri-City entered the series 4-21 when getting out-hit, but now sit at 7-21 in such a circumstance. 

Shaver's first walk-off grand slam came against the Staten Island Yankees back on July 27th, which was also his ValleyCats debut. 

Matijevic is now 7-20 (.350) in his last five games, with 11 runs scored, and three RBI. 

UP NEXT: Tri-City packs up and heads to Connecticut tomorrow for a doubleheader, followed by games on Wednesday and Thursday, before returning home Friday to face the Lowell Spinners. 

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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