TROY - The Tri-City ValleyCats secured a victory over the Aberdeen IronBirds by a final score of 9-3. Colin McKee (1-2) picked up the win in relief of starter Matt Ruppenthal, while Brandon Bonilla (0-1) took the loss in relief of starter Zac Lowther.
The scoring began quickly for the 'Cats, with a Jonathan Arauz triple to lead off the second inning that set up an RBI sacrifice fly by Kyle Davis to make it 1-0. Aberdeen would answer with an RBI single by T.J. Nichting in the third to tie it at 1-1.
Bryan De La Cruz quickly responded with an RBI single of his own in fourth inning to make it 2-1 'Cats. The IronBirds did not go lightly, and responded with an RBI single by Nichting and another run coming home on an error to make it 3-2 Aberdeen.
From that point on, the 'Cats dominated, scoring a combined seven runs in the fifth and seventh inning. Michael Papierski got the lead back with a two-run home run to go up 4-3. In the seventh, Jonathan Arauz picked up an RBI single, followed by a Bryan De La Cruz single to take a 6-3 lead. The 'Cats weren't finished, and scored on a wild pitch by Ruben Garcia, before J.J. Matijevic drove in two more with an RBI single to make it 9-3.
Matt Ruppenthal lasted just three innings, but was strong, allowing one earned run while striking out four batters. Despite control problems throughout the day, the 'Cats bullpen was electric, with Colin McKee and Nathan Thompson striking out eight batters over six innings of relief.
The 'Cats will wrap up their series against the IronBirds on Monday at 7:00 pm. It is Harry Potter Night at the Joe, presented by Fidelis Care! You can purchase your tickets online at tcvalleycats.com/tickets.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.