“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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
On Wednesday at “The Joe” the weather report called for a white out and right around game time…iit hit! The first 2,000 fans that entered the stadium received a free ValleyCats t-shirt courtesy of our game sponsor, PosiGen Solar.
To get the night started, representatives from PosiGen and United Way of the Greater Capital Region joined the ‘Cats on field for the first pitches, followed by Cassidy McDonald singing the national anthem.
On field, fans participated in a Sonic Musical Interlude, Time Warner Trivia, a Third Inning T-shirt toss, the Browns Barrel Race and Junior Toothfairy. From mother daughter pairs to family duals, the competition got heated on the field with the Deli and Brew Pizza toss when the father daughter duo took win over the mother and son team.
By the end of the night, the energy in the crowd wasn’t enough to help the ‘Cats to a win. The ‘Cats fell 10-7 to the Vermont Lake Monsters despite strong offensive efforts from Kolbey Carpenter (3-for-5) and Dexture McCall (2-for-5). However, the ‘Cats returned on Friday night to take the win from Vermont on Down on the Farm night.
Jingle bells, jingle bells, ValleyCats played last night. Oh what fun it was to watch the walk off in the ninth, hey!
Last night was Christmas in July here at “The Joe,” and there was a packed house for the holiday. The Salvation Army Band played out front as fans entered the winter wonderland for a night of baseball. Upon entering the stadium, fans were greeted by Santa himself and had the opportunity to decorate cookies on the concourse.
Santa Claus, Chuck and Kelly from 810 & 101.3 News Radio WGY, representatives from NYSID and Galiivan Companies all joined us on field for the pregame ceremonies and first pitches. Then, Johnathan Schwartz sang a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem to start off the night.
During the game, fans took part in the NY 529 Puzzle Race, Deli and Brew Pizza Toss, Browns Barrel Race, Capital OTB Pony Hop and of course, the Hot Dog Race. In last night’s race, a christmas present labeled “To Relish, From Santa” found it’s way to the third base line. Relish stopped to open the gift, but it turned out to be a trick, as Mustard came out of the box and stole the win from Relish. The night ended with fireworks presented by Price Chopper and Dick’s Sporting Goods coupons for everyone exiting the stadium.
After a back and forth game, Dexture McCall grabbed the player of the game title going 3-for-5 with a walk-off hit to center field. The victory was the fourth walk-off win of the ‘Cats season, and it came in only the 10th home game. Also excelling at the plate was Garrett Stubbs going 2-for-4 with one RBI, Sewald going 1-for-3 with two runs, two walks and one stolen base, and Mizell going 1-for-3 with one walk and one run driven in.
The ‘Cats are back again tonight to take on the Vermont Lake Monsters for White Out at “The Joe” sponsored by PosiGen Solar. Fans should wear white to show their ‘Cats pride and the first 2,000 people to arrive will receive a free t-shirt! Vamos Gatos!
The Tri-City ValleyCats are getting set to begin a six-game homestand tomorrow, July 15, at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium!
The six-game set will feature a three-game series against the Vermont Lake Monsters spanning from tomorrow to Friday, July 17, followed by three games against the Aberdeen IronBirds, beginning on Saturday, July 18.
This series of games at “The Joe” follows a six-game road trip that took the ValleyCats to Western Pennsylvania, where they took on the Williamsport Crosscutters, and State College Spikes, in two separate three-game sets.
Road Trip Record: 3-3 (1-2 vs. Williamsport, 2-1 vs. State College)
Recap: All six of the games the ‘Cats played on this past trip were hard fought affairs. Following a 10-6 victory to kick off the series in Williamsport, Pa., against the Crosscutters, game two was rained out on Thursday, leading to a doubleheader on Friday night. Both of those seven-inning contests went down to the very end, but unfortunately, the Crosscutters came out on top in both games (a 1-0 walk-off loss for the ‘Cats in game one, followed by a 3-2 defeat in the nightcap).
However, Tri-City bounced right back into the win column once they drove 63 miles southwest to take on the State College Spikes, in a rematch of the last two New York-Penn League Championship Series.
The three-game set in State College kicked off with a slugfest on Saturday night, with Tri-City coming out on top by the score of 8-7. Brooks Marlow and Dexture McCall each hit home runs to lead the ‘Cats offense, while a stellar relief performance by ‘Cats closer Adam Whitt, who pitched 2.1 scoreless innings to close out the game, also helped lead Tri-City to victory.
The following night’s contest was much more of a pitcher’s duel, although the ‘Cats still came away with the win. Dean Deetz struck out five batters in five scoreless innings, while Pat Porter went 3-for-4 with three runs batted in, as Tri-City came away with 3-0 win.
The Spikes prevented the ValleyCats from leaving State College with a sweep, as the host squad took the final game of the three-game set, and the last game in the ‘Cats six-game road trip, by the score of 7-2 in a contest that began at 12:00pm.
Players of the Road Trip: Offensively, Bobby Wernes led the way for the ‘Cats, getting 10 hits in 17 at bats (good for a .588 batting average) in five games during the trip, while posting four multi-hit nights. McCall finished the trip 5-for-15, with a home run and three runs batted in, while Brooks Marlow led the ‘Cats in the RBI category during the trip with six, while adding a home run and one double.
On the mound, Deetz and Elieser Hernandez both threw five shutout innings in their respective appearances on the trip, while Zach Davis (two games, three innings pitched, three strikeouts and no runs allowed), Juan Santos (two games, 3.1 innings, three strikeouts and one save), and Whitt (1-0, one strikeout, no runs in 2.1 innings) highlighted a strong effort by the ‘Cats bullpen.
Notable Achievements: By hitting a two-run home run in the seventh inning against the Spikes on Saturday, July 11, McCall extended his hit-streak to 11 games, the second longest by a New Penn-League batter this season. Although the streak snapped the following night, McCall rebounded on Monday, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. Wernes had a four-game streak of getting at least two base hits, before also having that streak snapped on Sunday. However, he also rebounded with a 2-4 performance on Monday.
Roster Moves: Following his five-inning, shutout performance against Williamsport, right-handed pitcher Elieser Hernandez was promoted to the Full-Season A Quad Cities River Bandits, of the Midwest League. That transaction came two days after left-handed pitcher Alex Winkelman, a 21st round draft pick by the Astros this season out of Southeast Missouri State, joined the ValleyCats from Rookie-Level Greeneville.
Today brought another pair of roster moves, as outfielder Drew Ferguson, who was named the New York-Penn League hitter of the week on July 6th, joined Hernandez with a promotion to Quad Cities. Replacing him from Greeneville is outfielder Aaron Mizell. Mizell, a 32nd round draft pick this year out of Georgia Southern University, joins the ‘Cats after hitting .325 with five doubles, one triple, eight runs batted in, and three stolen bases in 20 games with Greeneville.
Up Next: The ‘Cats start their three game series against the Vermont Lake Monsters tomorrow, at 7:00 p.m. Getting the start for Tri-City will be left-hander Zac Person. He will be followed in the rotation by Rogelio Armenteros, and Trent Thornton, whom are expected start for the ‘Cats on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
With the rosters for the 2015 Major League All-Star Game being announced this past weekend, three former Tri-City ValleyCats were named to the American League squad, making it the first time in ‘Cats history that three alums were named All-Stars in the same year.
Those three players, LHP Dallas Keuchel and 2B Jose Altuve, currently of the Houston Astros, and OF J.D. Martinez of the Detroit Tigers, coincidentally all played together in Troy for the ValleyCats during the 2009 New York-Penn League campaign.
Keuchel gets the nod as American League starting pitcher, and deservingly so, as he’s tied for the American League lead in wins (11), second in earned run average (2.23) and first in innings pitched (137.1).
Altuve, who led all of Major League Baseball last year with a .341 batting average, will make his third all-star appearance, and his first in the starting lineup after gaining the most fan votes out of all American League second basemen. This season, he leads the AL with 25 stolen bases, and has already matched his career-high with seven home runs.
Martinez, who like Keuchel will be appearing in his first All-Star Game, is currently second in the AL with 24 home runs, which is already a career-high. The outfielder has been at his strongest as of late, as he was named the AL Player of the Week for the week ending on July 5th, a time period that saw Martinez hit .458 (11-for-24) with six runs, four home runs, one double and 10 RBI’s.
While Keuchel, Altuve and Martinez are producing All-Star campaigns on the Big League level, there are certainly quite a few former ‘Cats succeeding on the Minor League level as well.
Leading the way is 2014 ValleyCats 1B A.J. Reed, who was just promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi. Reed earned his second consecutive California League (A-Advanced) Player of the Month Award in June. The 2014 second-round draft pick hit for an astronomical .434 batting average, with six home runs, and 30 runs batted in for the Lancaster JetHawks, in the month of June alone. That followed a month of May that saw Reed crush 10 homers, while driving in 29 runs, and posting a .327 batting average. All in all, the former Kentucky Wildcat is hitting .347, while driving home 83 runs, which leads all Minor League hitters, and smacking 23 homers (second in MiLB).
Tony Kemp, a 2013 ValleyCat, is another player enjoying a breakout campaign, as the 2013 fifth-round pick is hitting .333 with two homers, 34 runs batted in, and 23 stolen bases combined between Double-A Corpus Christi, and Triple-A Fresno. The natural second baseman has increased his defensive versatility by also seeing time in left and center field. The adjustment to the outfield hasn’t seemed to faze Kemp at all, as he has showed up twice on ESPN Sportcenter’s top 10 plays with highlight-reel outfield grabs.
Kemp, along with 2013 ValleyCats’ teammate Mark Appel, participated in the MLB Futures Game during the All-Star Week. Kemp started at second base and went 0-for-1 at the plate with two walks and a run scored. Appel pitched a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
Another former ValleyCat who is currently succeeding with Fresno is outfielder Matt Duffy (a 2010 ‘Cat). Duffy is currently fifth in the Pacific Coast League with 62 runs batted in, and is hitting .292 with a total of 26 extra-base hits.
The All-Star selections of Keuchel, Altuve, and Martinez, and the solid campaigns being produced by Reed, Kemp, Duffy, and Heredia 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!
Yesterday was the first Sunday Funday and Jersey Auction of the season at “The Joe.” Sponsored by Saint Peter’s Health Partners, the day started at 3:30 with Adam Whitt and Scott Weathersby reading “The Night Before Summer Vacation,” donated by the Kiwanis Club of Troy, to a group of kids in the Picnic Pavilion. Before the game, families took part in a game of catch on the field and Hannah Infantado sang the National Anthem. Max DePalma from iHeartMedia and Jody McQuiston threw out the first pitches and the 14-inning game began. The ValleyCats presented Jody McQuiston with a $8,102 check for the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeastern New York. Fans enjoyed promotions on the field during the game like the NY 529 Puzzle Race, Sonic Musical Interlude, Time Warner Trivia and the Sam A. Lupo & Sons Speedie the Chicken Challenge. After 14 innings of baseball, the ‘Cats took home the win. By the 6th innings, the ‘Cats had a 4-1 lead over the Lowell Spinners, but over the next 3 innings the Spinners tied the score putting the game into extra innings. In the 11th innings, Spinners shortstop Hector Lorenzana hit a solo homerun to left field, but the ‘Cats answered back with a two-out single to drive home a run and tie the game. By the 14th inning, the ‘Cats fought hard to move catcher, Anthony Hermelyn, around the bases. Finally, Dexture McCall hit a ground ball single up the middle on a 3-2 pitch to drive in the winning run for the ‘Cats 6-5 victory. After the game, fans who took part in the Jersey Auction were presented with the Patriotic Jerseys worn by the ‘Cats all weekend on the field. The ‘Cats are back tonight for Bark in the Park night. Fans are encouraged to bring their dogs to “The Joe” and participate in our postgame bark around the bases, presented by 4 Paws Veterinary Care. Vamos Gatos!
Red, White and Blue filled the stands last night for the Independence Day Celebration at “The Joe” presented by the United States Marine Corps.
The night started off with a pull-up competition at the front gates run by the Marine Corps and the view of an Inflatable Drill Instructor behind the center field fence.
During the pre-game ceremonies, the Marine Corps presented Joshua Laramie with a $180,000 scholarship from the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps and afterwards the Color Guard presented the colors on the pitchers mound. Miles Tone left the stadium in awe after they beautifully sang the National Anthem. Later in the night, they also sang God Bless America.
The United States Marine Corps, Matthew Arnold and Laura Allen threw out the first pitches of the night to get the patriotic game started. After the first inning, there was a special event on the field. The top to participants in the pre-game pull-up competitions competed in an agility competition sponsored by the Marine Corps. Later in the night, the NY 529 Puzzle Race, Junior Toothfairy, OTB Pony Hops and T-Shirt Toss were all fan favorites.
The ‘Cats put up a fight but by the end of the night, it wasn’t enough and they took home a 7-6 loss to the Red Sox affiliate, Lowell Spinners. On the mound for the ‘Cats was Elieser Hernandez who only allowed one hit in four relief innings and struck out 10 batters. It wasn’t until the fourth inning that the ‘Cats got on the board when Pat Porter scored on a wild pitch. In the next inning, Porter hit a two-run double off the right field wall followed by a two-run home run in the seventh.
After the game the United States Marine Corps joined us on field once again as fifteen Marine recruits took the Oath of Enlistment in front of a packed house. Later on, Price Chopper presented one of the best fireworks display’s in the Capital Region over “The Joe,” and upon exiting the stadium, fans were given dog treat samples and coupons courtesy of Mars Petcare and MiLB. They also had the opportunity to meet Dexture McCall and Johnny Sewald and have them sign autographs at the Mohawk Honda Autograph Table after the game.
The ‘Cats are back today at 5pm to take on the Lowell Spinners again. During the game, bid on the ValleyCats patriotic themed jerseys! In honor of Sunday Sunday, purchase 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs and 4 sodas starting at $25. Gates open at 3pm.
The ValleyCats continued their Fourth of July Weekend celebrations last night with Red, White and Blue Glow in the Park Night sponsored by Dave and Buster’s. Upon entering “The Joe,” fans were given glow sticks to lite-up during fireworks and shine bright throughout the stadium.
Dave and Buster’s, D-Scott from KISS 102.3 and Pat Gabriel threw out the first pitches of the night and Leslie Maiello took the field following them for the singing of the National Anthem.
“The Joe” was a packed house for the patriotic night. Fans participated in the NY 529 Puzzle Race, Deli and Brew Pizza Toss, Browns Barrel Race and once again, the stadium got to cheer on their favorite hot dog in the Hot Dog Race. Last night, Relish left the starting gates with a huge lead over Mustard and Ketchup, but what looked to be a crazy Ketchup fan came running out of the dugout, taking Relish down behind home plate and ultimately making him lose the race. As fans exited the stadium they were given dog treats and coupons courtesy of Mars Petcare and MiLB.
The excitement in the stands carried onto the field for the 11 inning game. The ‘Cats had the lead until the fourth inning when the Lake Monster’s left fielder, Seth Brown, hit a bases-clearing, three-run double followed by a solo home run to take the lead, making the score 4-1. The game went back and forth until the ninth inning when Lake Monster’s designated hitter, Mikey White, hit a two-run home run. After two extra innings, the ‘Cats took home a 7-6 win when Sewald hit one to right-center field, allowing Medina to advance to third and ultimately score on an overthrow.
The ‘Cats are back tonight at 6:30 to play the Red Sox Affiliate, Lowell Spinners, in their Independence Day Celebration Game presented by the United States Marine Corps. After the game, stay to enjoy one of the best fireworks displays in the Capital Region presented by Price Chopper!
Last night, the ValleyCats dedicated their game to all those who have devoted their lives to serving our country. Sponsored by CSEA, a patriotic crowd came to pay tribute to our nation’s military and watch America’s favorite past time. Veterans Canteen Service at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center underwrote a number of tickets for veterans, active duty military personnel, and their families to attend the game.
The night started in front of “The Joe” with the Yankee Doodle Band and the Patriot Guard greeting fans on their way in. Later on in the night, the Yankee Doodle Band joined the team on field for the playing of the National Anthem.
Brigadier General Mike Swezey started off the pre-game ceremonies with opening remarks thanking all the Veterans and members of the military for their service. Ryan Scholz from CSEA, SGM Mike Rosen and SFC Leah Rosen threw out the first pitches of the night. Then, from the left field fence, there was a roar of engines. The Patriot Guard rode the warning track around the field only to park in front of the third base dugout for the New York National Guard 42nd Infantry Division to present the colors.
The energy at “The Joe” was like none other when the game began. And although the ‘Cats lost, fans still left with smiles on their faces.The ‘Cats wore red, white, and blue jerseys that will be auctioned off on Sunday as a kick off to a patriotic weekend at “The Joe.” Everything from the Deli and Brew Pizza Toss to the Browns Barrel Race kept the crowd energized in-between innings. Once again, we had our Mayors Race and Hot Dog Race on field. Taking home the win for the Hot Dogs tonight was Ketchup. Relish lead the entire race around the field until he fell over what seemed to be a photographer on the warning track. With Mustard coming in a close second, Relish took another loss.
By the end of the night, the ‘Cats couldn’t tack on enough runs to out score the Lake Monsters. Johnny Sewald, however, had a green game going 3-4 with 2 runs scored and a stolen base. In the first inning, he walked, stole second, advanced to third on a grounder and scored on a passed ball. Drew Ferguson, Cesar Carrasco and Brooks Marlow also performed at the plate last night. On the mound, Harold Arauz pitched 3.2 innings with 4 strikeouts and no runs scored. The ‘Cats lost 9-2, but will face the Lake Monsters again tonight in the final game of this series.
The ‘Cats are back again tonight at 6:30 for Red, White and Blue Glow in the Park Night where fans will receive a glow stick to shine bright during fireworks. If you can’t make it to “The Joe” for the Fourth of July, stop by tonight for a spectacular fireworks show presented by Price Chopper.
Humphrey Bogart had it right when he said “A hot dog at the ball park is better than a steak at the Ritz,” and that’s why it was 50 Cent Hot Dog night last night at “The Joe” courtesy of Old World Provisions and Helmbold’s Hot Dogs.
We started off the night with the Unified Military Affairs Council and Schenectady County Chamber Airplane Pull Awards during the pre-game show with Time Warner’s Time Warriors and MVP Health Care’s Just Plane Awesome team taking home awards. Congratulations to all the participants!
Last night was also, Eastern New York Travel Baseball Night. Over 500 youth baseball players and their families attended the game as we recognized the Upstate Thoroughbreds for being the champions of the inaugural ValleyCats Fall Classic. This year’s tournament is set to kick off September 16th, right here at “The Joe.”
After the awards, the Fort Orange Club Singers sang a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem only to return in the 7th inning for a singing of Take Me Out to the Ball Game.
Kevin & Shanna from 99.5 The River, Perry Jones and The Hot Dogs (Ketchup, Mustard and Relish) threw out the first pitches of the night. Unfortunately Relish’s pitch, to no one’s surprise, didn’t manage to hit the catcher’s glove, but everyone else did a fantastic job!
Once the game was underway, Kevin & Shanna hosted a mini Hot Dog Eating Contest on the concourse. Thirty contestants scarfed down 10 mini hot dogs each, all in hopes of winning the Hot Dog Eating Crown. After three innings of preliminary rounds, we crowned Jim the Hot Dog Eating Champion, who ate a total of 20 mini hot dogs to earn his title. Congratulations, Jim!
Meanwhile, on field we had our usual fun participating in the NY 529 Puzzle Race, 5th Inning Drag (to the tune of Mickey Mouse Club House’s Hot Dog Dance Song), Junior Toothfairy, Mayors Race and the most highly anticipated event of the night…the Hot Dog Race.
Everyone knows that Relish is losing in the all-time Hot Dog Race Standings, but last night, he was about a foot away from claiming his first victory. The Hot Dogs entered onto the field by what seemed to be a choreographed dance to “Who Let the Dogs Out” when all of a sudden Relish bolted from the group to the finish line, pushing Ketchup out of the way to get there! But sadly, the jump start wasn’t enough. Relish tripped right before the finish line and Mustard took home the win. Better luck next time, Relish.
As if the night weren’t exciting enough with 50 Cent Hot Dogs, the ‘Cats snagged an 8-2 win over the Lake Monsters! Ferguson lead the offensive side of things ending the night 3-4 with two home runs, a double and three runs scored. Dexture McCall also got himself on the board with a solo home run to left field in the sixth inning. The energy followed the ‘Cats onto the field when Pat Porter threw a bomb from right field to get Trace Loehr out at home. On the mound, Dean Deetz took home the win after three strikeouts and only allowing one hit in 3.1 scoreless innings.
Tonight the ‘Cats return to “The Joe” for game 2 of their 3-game series against the Vermont Lake Monsters. First pitch is at 7pm and the theme of the night is one we’re all very proud of…Veterans and Military Appreciation. The team will be debuting their special edition Patriotic Jersey’s and Caps that they will wear until Sunday when they’re auctioned off. Join us as we honor, celebrate and thank all those who have dedicated their lives to serving our country.
It’s that time of year again and you know what that means…the ‘Cats are back! That’s right, the ValleyCats debuted their 2015 team Thursday and it was a weekend to remember. For a video of the weekend, click here!
The ‘Cats played their home opener, presented by Rensselaer County Department of Health, against the Staten Island Yankees on Thursday. With a sold out crowd, every fan that walked through the gates received a free schedule magnet courtesy of BODY ARMOR Super Drink. Using four pitchers, the ‘Cats kept the Yankees off the board all game, ending the night with a score of 6-0. Johnny Sewald, Mohawk Honda Player of the Game, went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI’s and a stolen base. By the end of the game, Twitter said it best, “The boys (of summer) are back in town.”
Friday night brought good friends and good food to “The Joe” thanks to BlueShield of Northeastern New York and Hannaford Supermarkets. As part of Youth Baseball Night, we kicked off the game with an on field parade with over 10 Little Leagues. Despite Cesar Carrasco’s 3 RBI double in the second inning, the ‘Cats couldn’t recover the three run deficit that was to come. A hard-fought game by both teams led the ‘Cats to a 7- 4 loss, only to come back strong the next night.
Saturday’s rain didn’t keep the ‘Cats off the field or the fans out of the stands for a great game. It was GE Kids in Free Night at “The Joe” and everyone was excited to take part in a night of Boots, BBQ and Baseball for Texas Night. Adam Whitt claimed his first professional win on the mound with 4 strikeouts and no base runners. Down 10-6 going into the 8th inning, things weren’t looking up for the ‘Cats until Kolbey Carpenter’s 9th inning, 2-out double to right-center field to tie the game. After 10 innings of fans on the edge of their seats, the ‘Cats took home the win with an 11-10 victory over the Yankees to bring their record to 5-4 this season.
Amidst the home stand craziness, SouthPaw, Pappy and our Street Team still managed to make it to the Paws in the Park Awareness Walk with the Humane Society and read and play games the kids at the Mount Pleasant Library in Schenectady. And they had a great time doing it!
We’ve got another six-game home stand starting on Wednesday against the Vermont Lake Monsters. Be sure to get your tickets for 50 Cent Hot Dog Night, Veterans/ Military Appreciation Night and Red, White and Blue Glow in the Park Night. On Saturday, we’ll be celebrating Independence Day with fireworks and a game against the Lowell Spinners, the Red Sox affiliate’s team, followed by Sunday Funday and Bark in the Park Night.