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Capital Region Baseball Heritage Night Recap

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There is rich history of baseball here in the Capital Region, starting in 1871 with the Troy Haymakers and continuing all the way until now with the Tri-City ValleyCats. We took last night to celebrate our baseball heritage and commemorate a famous alumna of the Capital Region.

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Upon entering the stadium, the first 1,500 fans were given a ticket redeemable for a Bernie Williams Bobblehead. The famous Yankee played for the Albany-Colonie Yankees from 1989 to 1990. To top of the Weekend at Bernie’s celebration, we’ll be raffling off a life-size Bernie Williams bubblehead tonight after the game. Tickets can be purchased on our website or in SouthPaw’s Den.

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Before the game, we recognized the four members of the ValleyCats who represented Tri-City in Aberdeen this week at the All-Star Game: Alex Winkelman, Pat Porter, Bobby Wernes and Dexture McCall, who received the All-Star Game Top Star Honor.

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Team Ferior Sports, Saratoga Eagle, Daniel Oliksowycz from the Lasalle School and 2014 Boy of the Year, Ethan Herrington from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society threw out the first pitches. The Troy Youth Choir followed them with the singing of the National Anthem.

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We also had a familiar face at “The Joe” last night for the game. We were joined by City of Albany Mayor, Kathy Sheehan, who you may recognize from the 6th inning mayor’s race!

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Unfortunately, the ‘Cats fell to the Hudson Valley Renegades 4-2 despite McCall (3-for-4 with an RBI and a double) and Nunez’s (RBI Double) offensive efforts. The ‘Cats return to “The Joe” tonight at 7pm to wrap up Weekend at Bernie’s. We’ll be giving away Bernie William’s posters and raffling off the life-size Bernie Williams Bobblehead!

Vamos Gatos!

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Half-Way to Valentine’s Day Recap

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Love was in the air at “The Joe” on Thursday night as fans celebrated Half-Way to Valentine’s Day presented by Glennpeter Jewelers. Couples young and old packed the stands to watch the ValleyCats take on the Auburn DoubleDays.

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The Village of Colonie, Yajaira Bonet from Taco Bell, D Scott from Kiss 102.3, and birthday boy Dominick Siciliano, one by one, threw out the first pitches of the night. Bianca Hankle then started off the game by singing the National Anthem.

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Fans enjoyed a romantic twist on the in-game promotions as the CDTA Mayor’s Race included a lovely picnic for three, the Old World Provisions Hot Dog Race featured a proposal and the Sam A. Lupo & Sons Speedie the Chicken Challenge ended with the chicken and the umpire walking off the field as friends.

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After the game, married couples joined together on field to renew their marital vows. Following the vow renewal, fans enjoyed a fireworks show presented by Price Chopper Supermarkets.

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Unfortunately, it was a not-so-fairy-tale ending for the ‘Cats as they fell to the Auburn DoubleDays 7-5. Despite a huge offensive and defensive effort from Aaron Mizell who went 3-for-5 with a double, hit his first professional home run and threw out a runner at the plate. Anthony Hermelyn also performed at the plate for the ‘Cats going 2-for-3 with a hit and a run batted in.

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The ‘Cats return to “The Joe” this Friday to kick off weekend at Bernie’s presented by Team Ferior Sports! Friday night will be our Bernie Williams bobblehead giveaway, and Saturday we’ll be giving away Bernie posters! You’ll have the chance to win a life-size Bernie bobblehead & signed items by Bernie!

Vamos Gatos!

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‘Cats Assemble for Win on Superheroes/ Community Heroes Night

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“The Joe” was filled with heroes last night…from kids dressed as their favorite superheroes, to everyday community heroes. Just Cats Veterinary Clinic sponsored the night of superheroes, and some super baseball!

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First pitches kicked off early with Kevin Murray from Callahan Industries, Dr. Susan OR JC Trower from Just Cats Veterinary Clinic, Albany, Saratoga & Rensselaer County Sheriffs, Birthday Boy Gianni Salisbury and Rensselaer County Stop DWI Coordinator Jim Gordon took the mound. Following the first pitches, a Law Enforcement Car Parade took the field to honor all those who are committed to keeping our community safe. The Civil Air Patrol presented the colors and Bethacapella sang the National Anthem.

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E. Stewart Jones, Hacker, Murphy teamed up with the ValleyCats to honor nine everyday people with their Home Run Community Heroes Starting Nine Award before the game. After receiving numerous nominations, an all-star Starting Nine was selected this year. Recipients included:

  • Jason Krolak, Owner of New Horizons Computer Learning Center of Albany
  • Peter Gannon, President of Arsenal Business and Technology Partnership
  • Sean Tuckey, Readjustment Counselor and Case Manager at Albany Stratton VA Medical Center
  • Tess Collins, Owner of McGeary’s Irish Pub
  • Ishmael Morton, Program Director at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Albany
  • Marleah Lybolt, Student at Columbia High School
  • Leah Slocum, Partner at PEAK Residential Partners Team at Realty USA
  • Stefon Stillwell, Marketing Director at State Farm Insurance
  • Domnigo Montes, Program Director at 15-LOVE

These Home Run Community Heroes were selected for their devotion to making a difference in their communities. The ValleyCats would once again like to thank the Starting Nine for all that they do in the community and congratulate them on their awards.

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During the game, kids had the opportunity to participate in a costume contest and other superhero promotions. The excitement in the stadium helped the ‘Cats take home a 2-0 win over the Auburn Doubledays. After scoring one run in the first and another in the seventh, the ‘Cats pitching was the key to success. Chris Murphy threw five innings, allowed no runs and only four hits, walked one and struck out five batters.

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The ‘Cats return tonight for Half-Way to Valentine’s Day presented by Glennpeter Jewelers. Stop by the Fan Service Center to sign up to renew your vows on field after the game. Also after the game will be a FIREWORKS show presented by Price Chopper.

Vamos Gatos!

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Back to the Future & Matinee Day Recap

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It’s been a crazy two days here at “The Joe.” We started off on Monday with a night of celebration. The theme was Back to the Future: Ultimate 80’s and Healthy Living Night presented by Subway. We celebrated one of the greatest decades to date by dressing up, and rocking out. Fans celebrated everything from birthdays to bachelor parties at the game, all while learning tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle.

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Lady Strange kicked off the night playing music out front while fans entered “The Joe.” Subway, Time Warner Cable, Vent Fitness, Jesse Dittmar, Berkshire Farm, Jakob Nichols of the ‘Cats Crew, The Desmond and National Grid threw out the first pitches of the night and Massive Dynamic followed them by singing the National Anthem.

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During the game, Subway gave fans a special treat by bringing their Subway car and truck to race around the warning track during the t-shirt tosses. From participating in promotions with friends, to kicking back in a suite with coworkers, and enjoying postgame fireworks presented by Price Chopper, fans had a great time celebrating with the ValleyCats.

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Despite offensive efforts from Aaron Mizell, who hit a 2-RBI double in the first inning and Bobby Wernes and Dexture McCall who each batted .500 for the night, the celebratory energy wasn’t enough for the ‘Cats to take the win against the Lowell Spinners. Harold Arauz excelled on the mound, pitching four innings with six strikeouts while only allowing two hits. Although the ‘Cats lost 7-4, they came back yesterday with a strong desire to win.

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On a rainy Tuesday morning, the ‘Cats prepared to take on the Lowell Spinners for the final time at home this season. Matinee Day, presented by Dig Safely NY, was delayed an hour due to weather, but the skies cleared and the game kicked off at 12pm with Dig Safely NY and Noble Gas throwing out the first pitches and Jenny Schwartz singing the National Anthem.

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Summer camps filled the stands for the ‘Cats last regular season matinee game of the season. The ‘Cats started off strong, scoring four runs in the first two innings. Cheers and chants echoed throughout the stadium, rooting for the ‘Cats to take the win and stay comfortably in their first place rank in the division. Unfortunately, the ‘Cats fell to the Spinners 8-4 after giving up five runs in the fourth inning. As the ‘Cats left the field, fans exited the stadium and Lowell boarded their bus, the rain started to pour once again. With 28 wins and 23 losses, the ValleyCats remain first place in the Stedler Division, one game ahead of Lowell.

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The ‘Cats are back tonight at 7pm to finish up their six game homestand against the Auburn Doubledays. It’s Superheroes/ Community Heroes Night presented by Glennpeter Jewelers. Before the game, the ‘Cats and E. Stewart Jones Hacker Murphy will present nine local heroes with the Homerun Community Heroes Starting Nine Award, recognizing them for their outstanding work in the community.

Vamos Gatos!

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‘Cats Say Aloha to Philan”Tropic” Night

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The ‘Cats said aloha to a 6-3 victory over the Lowell Spinners last night after a sunny offensive showing from Hector Roa and Dexture McCall.

The boys of summer arrived at “The Joe” in style for Philan“Tropic” night sponsored by Make-A-Wish. Dressed in red, white and blue jersey’s printed with tropical flowers, the ‘Cats auctioned off their jerseys to benefit the night’s sponsorDSC_0599DSC_0230

The day kicked off around 3pm as fans arrived early to participate in Sunday Funday activities. Bobby Wernes and Pat Porter read Gilbert, The Surfer Dude to young fans during Sunday Summer Reading. Afterwards, kids along with their parents, families and friends participated in pre-game catch on the field.

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Connor Mahon from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Birthday Boys Cole Mellen and Theo Hackett, Zoe Bertram from ASAP, Amazing Athletes and Jaime Roberts from 98.3 TRY all threw out first pitches for the night. Logan Lieman and Evan O’Brien from the Albany Youth Soccer Recreational Program put a fun twist on the first pitch and turned it into a first kick! After Miss Outstanding Teen New York 2015, Alisa Vasquez, sang a beautiful rendition of the national anthem, it was officially time to play ball.

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It was a beautiful day for baseball, from the clear blue skies to the breeze that swept through the stadium…it was like watching a game at the beach! To top off the beach sensation, fans enjoyed ham and pineapple, Hawaiian Pizza from Left Field Louie’s!

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Throughout the game, SouthPaw’s den was packed with people. From the mystery ball sale to the jersey auction, fans wanted to take a piece of the ValleyCats home with them. The Mystery Ball sale benefitted the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Each ball was autographed by a random member of the 2015 ‘Cats, or a current member of the Astros. Fans didn’t know which autographed ball they were purchasing, but everyone left with a smile on their face. Outside SouthPaw’s Den, the jersey auction lasted until the fifth inning and the live auction kicked off in the seventh.

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After the game, the ‘Cats autographed their jerseys and presented them to the winning bidders on field. Launch-A-Ball began shortly after the jersey presentations. Usually only occurring on fireworks nights, last night’s Launch-A-Ball was a special one because the proceeds benefitted the Make-A-Wish Foundation. To end the night, kids who were in attendance were invited onto the field for a post-game kids run on the bases.

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Hector Roa and Dexture McCall really stepped up to the plate for the ‘Cats last night, combining for 3 RBIs in the 6 run game. Roa’s homerun into the left field berm followed by McCall’s 2-run bomb to center field rallied the ‘Cats to recover from a 2-0 deficit. Also with notable offensive showings were Bobby Wernes and Antonio Nunez each batting .500 for the night.

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The ‘Cats are back tonight at 7pm to take on Red Sox overall #1 draft pick Andrew Benintendi and the Lowell Spinners. Break out your scrunchies, banana clips and wind pants because it’s Back to the Future: Ultimate 80’s and Healthy Living Night at “The Joe” presented by Subway! First pitch is at 7pm and postgame FIREWORKS presented by Price Chopper will begin immediately following the game!

Vamos Gatos!

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‘Cats are movin on “The Joe to The Show”

With the calendar turning to August, there continues to be quite a few former Tri-City ValleyCats excelling at the big league level, as while as on the higher rungs of the Minor League ladder. Here is a look at some of former ‘Cats, how they did while playing in Tri-City, as well as how they are doing now on their journey from “The Joe to The Show,” presented by Curtis Lumber.

INF/OF Ben Zobrist (’04)

Then: Zobrist, drafted by the Houston Astros in the 6th round of the 2004 MLB Draft, made his professional debut that season with the Tri-City ValleyCats, and went on to lead the team in batting average (.339), on-base percentage (.438), and stolen bases (15), en route to being named a New York-Penn League All-Star.

Now: A two-time Major League All-Star, Zobrist was traded from the Oakland Athletics to the Kansas City Royals this past July 28 for minor league pitchers Aaron Brooks, and Seth Manea, both highly rated prospects. Prior to his trade to Kansas City, Zobrist was hitting .333 (12-36), with five extra-base hits, and two runs batted in over his last 10 games.

LHP Dallas Keuchel (’09)

Then: Drafted in the 9th round by the Houston Astros in the 2009 Draft, Keuchel, like Zobrist, made his pro debut with Tri-City, going 2-3 in 11 games (10 starts), with 44 K’s in 66.2 innings that season for the ‘Cats.

Now: On July 14, 2015, Keuchel became the first former Tri-City pitcher to play in an MLB All-Star Game, when he got the start for the American League squad in Cincinnati, pitching two innings, while striking out one batter and allowing one unearned run in the AL’s 6-3 victory.

RHP Adrian Houser (’13)

Then: Houser, a 2nd round draft pick by the Astros in the 2011 MLB Draft, spent the 2013 New York-Penn League Championship season with the ValleyCats, posting a 3.42 ERA, while striking out 39 batters in 50 innings over 14 games (nine starts).

Now: The 22-year old right-hander began this season with Advanced-A Lancaster, where he struck out 55 batters in his first 49.2 innings with a 4.35 earned run average. That earned him a promotion to Double-A Corpus Christi, where he made seven appearances (five starts), before he was traded on July 30, along with fellow Houston farmhands Josh Hader, Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana, to the Milwaukee Brewers for two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Gomez, and right-handed pitcher Mike Fiers. In his first start as a member of the Brewers organization, Houser struck out six batters, while allowing three runs in five innings for the Biloxi Shuckers, earning a no-decison against the Mobile BayBears.

RHP Daniel Mengden (’14)

Then: Mengden, who was selected in the fourth round of last year’s draft by the Astros out of Texas A&M, joined the ValleyCats in mid-August of 2014 after a promotion from the Gulf Coast League. He went on to make two appearances, and one start for the ‘Cats in the regular season, striking out six batters, and allowing only one run in total of 4.2 innings. Mengden then went on to contribute to Tri-City’s playoff run, appearing three times in the 2014 New York-Penn League postseason, earning a win in the Semi-Final round against the Connecticut Tigers, while striking out a total of seven batters in four frames.

Now: Like Zobrist and Houser, Mengden was also traded recently, getting sent from the Astros to the Oakland Athletics, along with catcher Jacob Nottingham, for left-handed pitcher, and three-time MLB All-Star, Scott Kazmir. Prior to the trade, Mengden appeared in 18 games (14 starts) split between the Lancaster JetHawks and the Quad Cities River Bandits. In those games, Mengden posted a 6-2 record, a 3.46 earned run average, and 84 strikeouts in 88.1 innings. Ironically, Mengden made his first start as a member of the Athletics’ organization on July 25, against the JetHawks, his former team. That didn’t faze him one bit, however, as he struck out eight batters while allowing only one run and one it in five innings en route to earning the victory.

C Alfredo Gonzalez (’14)

Then: Gonzalez, like Daniel Mengden, was a key part of the ValleyCats’ run to the 2014 Stedler Division title, and berth in the New York-Penn League Championship Series. Gonzalez, originally signed by Houston in 2008 as an international free agent, started all five post-season games behind the plate for Tri-City. During the regular season, Gonzalez hit .246, with three home runs, nine runs batted in, and five stolen bases, while throwing out 45.5% of attempted base stealers, good for second in the league.

Now: In another similarity to his former teammate Mengden, Gonzalez, a native of Santa Teresa del Tuy, Venezuela, has moved around a lot this season, but unlike Mengden, Gonzalez’s movement has stayed within the Astros organization. After starting this year with the Quad Cities River Bandits, where he hit .326 with eight runs batted in over 13 games, he was quickly promoted to Lancaster, where his strong offensive output continued, where he only lasted 27 games before he got promoted once again, this time to the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks, where he made his debut on July 5. Before his latest promotion, Gonzalez posted a .340 average with two home runs and 15 runs batted in with the JetHawks, highlighted by a 2-for-6, two-home run game on May 31 against the High Desert Mavericks. His superb production has continued in Double-A, as the 23-year old has driven in seven runs, while hitting .325 with two doubles and eight runs scored, over his first 14 games with Corpus Christi.

The recent deadline trades involving Houser, Mengden and Zobrist, as well as the stellar performances of Gonzalez and Keuchel, are just a few examples of former Tri-City ValleyCats excelling throughout the Minor and Major Leagues, and there are plenty more! So check in next time to read about them in a new “The Joe to The Show,” post presented by Curtis Lumber

Around the World in Nine Innings Recap

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The ValleyCats are proud to have such a diverse group of people part of our team and front office staff. Our organization is made up of people from all corners of the world, and last night we celebrated our cultures.

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Around the World in Nine Innings brought new food and music to “The Joe.” We served foods like Pierogies and Kielbasa representing Poland, Hummas & Pita representing Greece, Fried Plantains representing Puerto Rico, Egg Rolls representing China and Guiness Floats representing Ireland.

DSC_1182 DSC_1192Yesterday was also Sunday Funday at “The Joe” where kids participated in Sunday Summer Reading with Johnny Sewald and Scott Whethersby. They also had the opportunity to participate in a pre-game catch on the field and a post-game run on the bases!

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Throwing out the first pitches of the night was Adam Sanzone, the Schenectady Jewish Community Center, Chuck & Kelly from New Radio WGY, Chris Roberts, Frankie who was celebrating his 13th birthday and the head coach of the St. Thomas Virgin Islands Little League Team who were recognized on field before the game as well. John and Jared Lussier, finalists from our Crossgates Mall National Anthem Auditions, started the game off by singing the National Anthem.

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During the game, each inning was represented by a country. Fans learned facts about the respective countries and even learned some words in Spanish, Italian, Greek and Chinese through our “Learn a New Language” Video. Fans also participated in in-between inning promotions like the Browns Barrel Race, Capital OTB Pony Hop and the T-Shirt Toss.

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The excitement that packed “The Joe” last night helped the ‘Cats capture a 10-4 win over the Scrappers. Brooks Marlow was the player of the game going 2-for-3 with 2 runs, 2 doubles and 2 RBI’s. Hector Roa and Johnny Sewald also performed well at the plate last night each going 3-for-5 and 3-for-4 respectively. The ‘Cats are now away at Hudson Valley for the next three days, then off to Aberdeen, Maryland to take on the IronBirds. Don’t forget to listen live with the TuneIn Radio App!

Vamos Gatos!

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Medieval Times Night and Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger Recap

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Saturday the ‘Cats took a trip back hundreds of years to the Medieval Times for a night sponsored by Hannaford Supermarkets. Four knights, each representing different sections in the stadium, competed in a series of events during the game. The winning knight received ticket vouchers for a future game for their respective section.

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As fans entered the stadium they dropped off canned goods and nonperishable food items for Hannaford Helps Fight Hunger. Thanks to all of the generous donations, Hannaford collected 1,162 pounds of food! Before the game, the ValleyCats also presented a check to The Food Pantries for $1,350.

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To kick off the night. Peter Maynard, Hannaford Supermarkets, Tina Uttendorfer, the World Kickball Association and the US Army Watervliet Arsenal threw out the first pitches. The Elderly Brothers followed the first pitches with their rendition of the National Anthem.

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During the first inning, a lucky fan named Kevin was crowned King for the night. As part of his duties, he had to lead a knighting ceremony on the field for the Blue, Green, Black and Red knights. Following the ceremonies, he followed the knights around during the game, making sure all rules were adhered to during the competitions.

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The Knights partnered with fans for in-between inning games such as the Sonic Tater Tot Toss, Deli and Brew Pizza Toss and the Capital OTB Pony Hop. For each event that the knights won, they were given a point. At the end of the night, the Blue knight was crowned the winner.

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Despite Hector Roa’s two home runs, the ‘Cats fell to the Scrappers 7-4. Mahoning Valley took the lead in the first inning, scoring five runs right off the bat. Offensively, Alexander Melendez also showed a great effort after going 2-for-4 with a double and Pat Porter hitting an RBI single. The ‘Cats conclude their 6-game home stand on Sunday at 5pm.

Vamos Gatos!

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Italian Night Recap

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The smell of pasta and meatballs and the sound of Italian music filled the air last night at “The Joe” as fans arrived for Italian Night sponsored by Mastroianni Brothers.

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Mario and Luigi greeted the first pitches on field to start the day off. Logan Coolidge, the Mastroianni Brothers, Saratoga Eagle, Ernest Everett, Jaime Roberts, Paul Amedore Jr and John Carkner all through out the first pitches and Sophia Pasinella followed them on field for the singing of our National Anthem.

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In honor of Italian Night, a pasta eating contest took place on the field in the first inning. Challengers had to eat as much of a plate of pasta, meatballs, sausage and bread as they could in one minute. Fans also took part in the Sam A. Lupo & Sons Speedie the Chicken Challenge and the Browns Barrel Race.

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The ‘Cats three game winning streak came to an end last night as the Scrappers took home a 6-1 win. Unfortunately, offensive efforts from Mizell, Carrasco and Porter weren’t enough to come back from the five run deficit. After the game, the fans were treated to a Martial Arts Demonstration before the fireworks show presented by Price Chopper.

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The ‘Cats are back tonight at 7pm for Medieval Times Night and Hanford Helps Fight Hunger Night. Bring a non-perishable food item to benefit The Food Pantries for The Capital District, and receive a free ticket or voucher courtesy of Hannaford. Don’t worry! If you already have a ticket to Saturday’s game, you can receive a voucher to a future game!

Vamos Gatos!

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Pirate Night Recap

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Pirates packed the stadium last night as the ValleyCats took on the Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate, the West Virginia Black Bears.

Upon entering the stadium, ‘Cats fans were given eyepatches that they were asked to wear during the game in an attempt to break the world record for the largest gathering of people wearing eye patches. Fans were also given 2015 ValleyCats team posters as a souvenir.

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Before the game, fans participated in a stadium treasure hunt where kids ran around the stadium, following clues and searching for the treasure. In record time, Abigail and her family found the treasure hidden at the Top of the Hill, making them champions two years in a row.

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Sponsored by TD Bank, the night started off with giveaways at the gates and the fun continued down on the field when United Way, TD Bank, Pat Gabriel, Saratoga Eagle, Tred from 99.5 The River, Kelly Brown and Albany County Executive Dan McCoy threw out the first pitches. The Capitaland Chorus took the field following the first pitches for the singing of our National Anthem.

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During the game, fans participated in a frozen t-shirt contest, Sonic Musical Interlude, Browns Barrel Race and a t-shirt toss. Throughout the night, they kept the energy up at “The Joe” enough for the ‘Cats to complete their first sweep of the season!

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Although they weren’t the first ones on the board last night, the ‘Cats scored four runs in the third inning that gave them the lead for the rest of the game. In each game of the series, the ‘Cats scored five runs against the Black Bears, coming from behind every time.

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The ‘Cats will look to keep their streak going as they take on the Mahoning Valley Scrappers tonight at 7pm for Italian Night.

Vamos Gatos!

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Jose Altuve Bat Giveaway Night Recap

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“Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard…” a statement that Jose Altuve has proven to be very true. Since his time playing for the ValleyCats, he has worked hard to earn his spot on the Astros starting lineup and to be crowned the 2014 MLB Batting Champion. As a special tribute to the former ‘Cat, the first 1,500 fans at “The Joe” tonight were given full size Jose Altuve bats commemorating his batting title.

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Before the game, the Hoosic Valley Baseball team was honored on field for winning the New York State Class C Baseball Championship. To kick off the game, Kris Ann Elario, Helen Blanchette, Kyle Schultz, Fleurtacious Design, Hoosic Valley Booster Club, Night of Champions First Pitch, Saratoga Eagle and Mark Quandt took to the field to throw out the first pitches. The Electric City Chorus followed the first pitches with the singing of the National Anthem.DSC_0846 DSC_0831

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Fans participated in on-field games like the Frozen T-Shirt Challenge, Sonic Musical Interlude, T-Shirt Toss and the Sam A. Lupo & Sons Speedie the Chicken challenge. The hot dogs were extra entertaining in the race as the fan-favorite batboy, Charlie, came out of the dugout and stopped Relish from winning because he was carrying Charlie’s Jose Altuve bat during the race.

DSC_1213 DSC_0908 The ‘Cats worked hard to grab their 5-4 win over the Black Bears. Leading the way offensively was Bobby Wernes and Aaron Mizell each going 2-for-4 at the plate. Right handed pitcher Trent Thornton pitched 5 innings and only allowed two runs on four hits. A combination of great offensive and stellar defensive gave the ‘Cats what they needed to win. DSC_1272 DSC_0872 DSC_0995

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“The Joe” will be packed all weekend starting tomorrow with the last game in the series against the Black Bears and followed by a 3-game series against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers.

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Mardi Gras with the ValleyCats Night Recap

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Last night fans celebrated Louisiana style with the ‘Cats. Dressed in masks, beads and with the smell of Shrimp Po’Boy in the air, it was Mardi Gras Night and Grandparents & Me Night sponsored by MVP Health Care at “The Joe.”

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Music filled the stadium as Brass-O-Mania gave a pre-game concert in honor of Tunes for Tuesday. People danced on the concourse as the brass band started the night off. Later on, they joined the ‘Cats on field for the playing of the National Anthem.

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MVP Health Care, Saratoga Eagle, Ellis Hospital, Quinn & Cantara and Pioneer Bank all took the mound before the game to throw out the first pitches of the night.

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In between innings, fans got a taste of Mardi Gras on the field with a Sonic Saxophone-off, Deli and Brew Pizza Toss, Browns Barrel Race and the Junior Tooth Fairy.

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To top the night off, the ‘Cats grabbed a 5-1 win over the West Virginia Black Bears, breaking their nine game winning streak. Pitching was key for the ‘Cast as Armenteros earned his first Minor League victory after pitching five innings and only allowing four hits. Austin Nicely then came in to relieve Armenteros and tossed three scoreless innings. Offensively, Edwin Medina led the way going 2-for-4 with an RBI triple.

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The ‘Cats are back tonight at 7pm for Jose Altuve Bat Giveaway night. 1,500 bats will be given away to commemorate former ‘Cats 2014 batting title!

Vamos Gatos!

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Daytime Doubleheader Recap

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With Sunday’s game being postponed due to weather, the ‘Cats faced the Aberdeen Iron Birds twice yesterday in a doubleheader at “The Joe.” Instead of playing regular 9 inning games, however, the teams faced each other in two 7 inning contests.

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The day went on according to schedule with an 11am first pitch and over 25 summer camps in attendance for Camp Day. Dave Mahoney from Noble Gas threw out the first pitch of the day and both teams lined the field for the playing of the National Anthem.

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The ‘Cats grabbed the win in the first game with a final score of 7-2 over the Aberdeen IronBirds. Anthony Hermelyn was named Mohawk Honda Player of the Game for going 2 for 4 with one run scored and one RBI. Alex Winkelmen made his first start for the ‘Cats and only allowed one run on four hits while strikeout out six batters in five innings.

DSC_1367 DSC_1604 During the game, campers were given the opportunity to join some of their favorite mascots on field to participate in events like the Speedie the Chicken Challenge, Deli and Brew Pizza Toss and, of course, the Hot Dog race. Mustard brought her “A game” to this race and put on a great show for the campers. From the starting gates, Relish took the lead and Ketchup trailed behind with Mustard no where to be seen. Then, out of the first base dugout, Mustard ran up the stairs and threw a pie in Ketchup’s face! Relish was sure to win, until SouthPaw came out at the finish line and pied Relish in the face, causing Ketchup to cross the finish line first.

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As the afternoon approached, it was time to play the second game, but unfortunately, the ‘Cats couldn’t secure enough runs to outscore the IronBirds again. The score stood at 1-0 until the fifth inning when catcher, Richard Gonzalez, slammed his first home run of the season into the ‘Cats bullpen. Still tied in the 7th inning, the ‘Cats took the IronBirds into “extras” but couldn’t hold Steve Laurino back from hitting a two-run single in the 8th. The ‘Cats fell to the IronBirds 3-1 and ultimately splitting the doubleheader.

DSC_1627DSC_1741The ‘Cats are on the road for the next 6 days starting at Lowell and ending in Batavia. They will return on July 28th for Mardi Gras with the ValleyCats night!

Vamos Gatos!

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Star Wars Night Recap

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The force was with the ‘Cats last night at they pulled a 7-4 win over the IronBirds. Fans of all ages came to “The Joe” dressed as their favorite Star Wars characters for the sold-out night of baseball.

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The 501st Legion joined in all the fun last night by meeting with fans before and during the game, and even jumping into some in-between inning games! Before the game, Chevy sponsored a car display for fans and SouthPaw got into a light saber duel with the Fidelisaurus! 200 CDPHP employees, their family members, and friends enjoyed a great night of baseball while they raised funds for the 2015 CDPHP Charity of Choice – Norther Rivers Family Services!

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Darth Vader and friends joined three young Star Wars fans on field to throw out the first pitch along with Fidelis Care, Time Warner Cable, Sarah Hamilton, Marissa Fiacco, the Wynanstskill Fire Department, Quinn and Cantara and Kody Miller. Following the first pitches, the Mendelssohn Club sang the national anthem to get the game started.

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During the game, a some lucky fans had the opportunity to participate in between inning entertainment such as the CDPHP Birthday Race, Sonic Musical Interlude, Deli and Brew Pizza Toss and the Junior Toothfairy. As for the hot dog race, it was another night of disappointment for Relish. Ketchup and Relish came out of the starting gates strong, with Relish in the lead the entire way he was about to capture his first win until Mustard, Darth Vader and what looked to be a young Padawan took down Relish with their lightsabers and Ketchup took home the win.

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Bryan Muniz captured the player of the game title going 2-for03 with a home run and two runs batted in. Pitcher Zac Grotz grabbed his first save as a member of the ValleyCats, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning.  Dean Deetz earned the win for the ‘Cats striking out two batters and only allowing two hits.

Vamos Gatos!

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Down on the Farm Night

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The Rensselaer County IDA and Rensselaer County Farm Bureau sponsored a night filled with all kinds of surprises for Down on the Farm Night. From farm animals out front to a solider coming home, fans were on their toes all game to see what was next.

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The night started off in front of “The Joe” with a Texas Longhorn and a few goats for a night of agriculture appreciation. Upon entering the stadium, fans were given “Joe to the Show” posters to honor former ValleyCats who have made Major League debuts.

To keep the night going, Capital Region Orthopedic, Rensselaer County Farm Bureau, Mike Ozols, Kathy Jimino and Jackson Simard threw out the first pitches. Cub Scout Pack 4 and Brian Pausley presented the Colors while The Capital Area Flute Club played the national anthem.

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During the first inning, one special fan was given a surprise she will never forget. Erica was called down on the field for what she thought was a base race against SouthPaw, but in reality was a Saratoga Eagle Welcome Home Race. Shortly after Erica’s wedding day her husband, Tyler, left to serve in the United States Coast Guard. Last night, Tyler returned home to his wife for the first time since he left months ago. They were reunited on field in front of thousands of fans. The ValleyCats would like to thank Tyler for the sacrifices he and his family have made and send him a sincere welcome home.n.

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Not only was last night Down on the Farm Night, but it was also Scout Night. Hundreds of Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts visited “The Joe” to recognize all that they have accomplished as scouts. Unfortunately, due to weather the Scout Sleepover was cancelled, but don’t forget, participants can exchange their tickets for the rescheduled sleepover on August 14th.

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On field, fans participated in Junior Tooth Fairy, the third inning t-shirt toss and the 7th inning Take Me Out to the Ball game Sing Along. Later in the night, they were given the opportunity to take pictures with players at the front gates and get autographs from them as well.

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All in all, it was a great night for the ‘Cats who took home a 9-2 win over the Lake Monsters in front of 4,222 fans. Trent Thornton, Scott Weatherby and Steve Naemark combined to strike out 11 batters and only allowed five base hits. Offensively, Dexture McCall led the way, once again, going 4-for-5 with 3 RBIs. Brooks Marlow, Pat Porter, Anthony Hermelyn and Johnny Sewald also contributed at the plate to the win.

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The ‘Cats are back tonight at 7pm for a night of Star Wars Characters, light sabers and baseball. The game starts at 7 and gates open at 6pm. Vamos Gatos!

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