Dawson’s two home runs power ‘Cats past Muckdogs

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A five-run 7th inning highlighted by Ronnie Dawson’s second home run of the game and 4th of the year helped give the Tri-City ValleyCats (16-14) a 9-8 win over the Batavia Muckdogs (6-24) in front of 3,531 Sunday night at Joseph L. Bruno stadium. 

Dawson, who finished the night 2-2 with 5 RBI (13), has 10 RBI in his last four games. 

Erasmo Pinales made his second start of the season, and struck out six batters in 4.2 innings, surrendering three runs. Pinales struck out four consecutive batters between the first and second innings. Sebastian Kessay earned the win in relief, hurling two scoreless innings, and striking out four, to push his team lead to 36. Kessay was removed from the game after two innings due to dehydration. 

The ‘Cats opened up the game with a four-run 1st inning thanks to an RBI single from Randy Cesar, which moved Carmen Benedetti to 2nd base. Ronnie Dawson followed with his first home run of the night a line drive to right field, scoring Benedetti and Cesar. The blast traveled 388 feet over the second wall at “The Joe,” and left Dawson’s bat at 103 mph. 

Neither team scored until the 5th, when the Muckdogs plated five runs off of Erasmo Pinales and Luis Ramirez in the top half of the frame. Pablo Garcia got things started with a single on a line drive to left field, before Mike Garzillo singled to right. Corey Bird was hit by pitch, loading the bases. After Pinales recorded two outs with the bases still loaded, ‘Cats manager Lamarr Rogers replaced him with Ramirez, who walked the first batter he faced before allowing a two-run double to Colby Lusignan. 

The inning looked to be over when Isaiah White hit a fly ball to Stephen Wrenn in center, but the ball deflected off of Wrenn’s glove, allowing Lusignan to score. Brauly Mejia replaced Wrenn during his next at-bat in the 7th. 

Tri-City trailed 5-4 until the bottom of the 7th, when they scored five of their own. With Brent Wheatley (BS, 2, L, 0-2) on the hill, Kevin Martir struck out to begin the inning, Rodrigo Ayarza singled and Ryne Birk doubled to tie the ball game at five. Mejia followed with a single, scoring Birk, and prompting Batavia’s manager, Angel Espada, to bring in Ty Provencher. Cesar greeted him with an RBI base hit, his second of the game. Dawson came to the plate with Cesar on board, and smashed his second home run of the game, a 403 foot rocket over the wall in right-center, giving the ‘Cats a 5-4 lead. 

The ValleyCats have now scored 29 runs in the 7th inning this season, the most of any frame, and improved to 4-1 in Sunday contests. 

Batavia answered back in the top of the 9th with three runs off of Carlos Sierra, before Juan Santos escaped a bases loaded jam to earn his second save of the season. 

Tri-City and Batavia will play in game two of this three game series tomorrow night, July 18. First pitch is set for 7:00, with Framber Valdez (1-1, 5.40) on the hill for the ‘Cats facing off against Jordan Holloway (0-2, 5.40). 

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