NORWICH, CT - The Tri-City ValleyCats suffered their third straight loss Wednesday night, a 5-2 decision to the Connecticut Tigers in front of 1,698 at Dodd Stadium. The defeat, paired with a Vermont win, drops the 'Cats to 3.5 games behind the Lake Monsters in the Stedler Division race.
Carlos Hiraldo (L, 1-5) pitched well in the early going, striking out seven in 4.1 innings, but the 'Cats defense committed four errors to spoil his start. It was also the first time Hiraldo hasn't walked a batter in an outing since July 5 (eight appearances). Tyler Ivey took over for Hiraldo in the fifth, and pitched 3.2 innings with five punch outs. Luis Ramirez got Ignacio Valdez to pop out for the final out in the eighth.
Connecticut (28-30) got on the board first in the third. With the bases loaded, J.J. Matijevic dropped a fly ball, allowing Joey Morgan and Dylan Rosa to score. In the fifth, Rosa doubled and moved to third on a Miguelangel Sierra throwing error, then scored when Cole Peterson lifted a sacrifice fly to centerfield. Garrett McCain, who had reached on a fielder's choice, scored on a force out to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead.
The ValleyCats scored their first run of the game in the sixth, when Gabriel Bracamonte singled home Jake Meyers. Neither team scored in the seventh, but both scored a run in the eighth. In the top half, Matijevic drove in Meyers with a base hit, and the Tigers responded when Morgan brought in Cameron Warner with a single of his own to make it 5-2.
Oswaldo Castillo (2-2) earned the win for Connecticut, striking out six and walking just one over six innings. Colyn O'Connell and Drew Carlton pitched the final three innings for the Tigers, striking out five more ValleyCats.
The four-game series wraps up tomorrow night at Dodd Stadium, as the 'Cats will try to avoid the sweep. Tri-City's Matt Ruppenthal (2-1, 3.04) will be opposed by Brad Bass (1-2, 3.00), who has earned one win and suffered one loss against the ValleyCats this year.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.