TROY, NY-The Staten Island Yankees came into Joseph L. Bruno Stadium, looking to cement their place in the New York-Penn League playoffs.
Kolton Mahoney took the mound looking to rebound from his last outing in Batavia, where he allowed six runs in three innings pitched. The Tri-City ValleyCats would jump to an early lead, as the right-hander would surrender a RBI single on a line drive to center field by designated hitter Chuckie Robinson.
The game would move along quickly as Mahoney and ValleyCats starter Makay Nelson, would both carry stellar pitching performances through five innings of play.
With the score remaining 1-0 ValleyCats in the top of the sixth inning, ‘Cats manager Lamarr Rogers would turn to his bullpen and bring in Edgardo Sandoval to face the top of the Yankees’ lineup. Nick Solak would get the offense going with a single to right field. Sandoval would then uncork a wild pitch, advancing Solak to second base. Rehabbing infielder, Billy Fleming would make Sandoval pay for the wild pitch, as he struck a line drive to left field, driving in Solak to tie the score at 1-1. Mahoney would continue cruising along in the sixth, striking out two of the three batters that he faced.
Both the Yankees and ValleyCats would go quietly in the seventh inning, in what would be Mahoney’s final inning of work. He would leave the game allowing one run on five hits, and striking out eight batters on the evening.
Catcher Eduardo Navas took a leadoff walk, before being lifted by manager Dave Bialas for pinch-runner Ben Ruta. The walk would end up haunting the ValleyCats later in the eighth inning, as the next hitter Dom Thompson-Williams would double to right field, advancing Ruta to third. Fleming would then hit a groundout to short, scoring Ruta on the play. Right fielder Timmy Robinson would hit a fly ball to center field, scoring Williams, for the Yankees final run of the night.
David Sosebee would come out of Staten Island’s bullpen in the bottom of the ninth, looking to bring the team one step closer to the playoffs. It wouldn’t be in the cards this evening however as the inning would quickly unravel. ValleyCats second baseman Rodrigo Ayarza started the inning with a controversial line drive to left field that was called out on the diving stop by left fielder Nathan Mikolas. Initially called out by home plate umpire Ayarza was originally called out by home plate umpire Raul Moreno, the call would be reversed after a conference with base umpire John Budka. The call would be overturned as Mikolas was ruled to have trapped the ball. Right fielder Carmen Benedetti drove a line drive single to center, moving Ayarza to second base. Left fielder Ronnie Dawson would then take a five-pitch walk, loading the bases for the first baseman Taylor Jones. Jones would drive a walk-off double to center, winning the game for the ValleyCats.
Speaking with manager Dave Bialas during post-game, he had this to say about Kolton Mahoney’s start:
“He did a great job. He’s pitched well all year. [He] had command of his fastballs, his breaking balls worked good and threw some good changeups.”
The Staten Island Yankees will look to put a win on the ledger tomorrow, as they once again take on the Tri-City ValleyCats. Tomorrow’s scheduled pitching matchup is Yankees’ right-hander Freicer Perez against right-hander Tyler Britton of the ‘Cats. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.