Wild Things Run Away With Series Finale Late
WASHINGTON, Pa. (May 26) – The Washington Wild Things hosted the Tri-City ValleyCats to conclude a three-game series Thursday night. A 23-minute rain delay was not enough time to wash the blues away from Tri-City in an 8-2 Wild Things win.
Following Wednesday’s sudden-death loss, Washington (7-5) bounded back quickly and got the bats going early against ValleyCats (7-4) starter Jose Cruz.
Second baseman Scotty Dubrule hit a one-out double in the bottom of the first inning to spark the Wild Things’ offense early. Dubrule advanced to third on a passed ball from Tri-City catcher Jonah Girand and scored moments later on a Wagner Lagrange RBI single through the left side of the infield. Hector Roa stepped to the plate with two men in scoring position and hit a chopper to short. ValleyCats shortstop Pavin Parks picked it off an odd hop but made an errant throw to first that skipped past Brad Zunica at first to allow the inning to prolong the and extend Washington’s early lead to 3-0.
The Wild Things threatened again their next time up. Cole Brannen hit a one-out single of his own and was quickly put in motion on the bases. Brannen stole his ninth and 10th bags of the early season but was left stranded at third to end the opportunity to further add on.
Starter Daren Osby pitched five scoreless innings to begin the ballgame before ValleyCats could crack the scoreboard. Girand, the ninth batter in the Tri-City order, homered to left on the first pitch he saw entering the sixth. Osby pitched six innings of one-run ball for manager Tom Vaeth’s team, allowing five hits and recording five strikeouts. He earned the victory, his second of the season.
Jose Cruz allowed three runs for Tri-City, none of them earned, while allowing four hits, two walks, and striking out four opposing batters. Right-hander Bryan Quillens relieved Osby to begin the seventh. A leadoff walk to Denis Phipps came around to bite him as former Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Willy Garica delivered a two-out RBI single to cut the Washington lead to 3-2. Nick Beardsley replaced Quillens with two on and two out to retire Girand, end the Tri-City threat and maintain the Washington lead.
The Washington offense scored three runs in its first time to the plate and exceeded that total in its last opportunity to swing the bats. Andrew Czech singled and Ian Walters walked to start the bottom of the eighth. Roa hit a ball into the right center field gap to score Czech from second. Walters also scored on an error by Tri-City center fielder Jesus Lujano following the double to push the lead to 5-2.
Roa moved to third on a Ramon Osuna groundout and made it 6-2 when Osuna scored on a sacrifice squeeze by Cole Brannen. The Wild Things added on two more with two outs as Landen Barns singled and Nick Ward snuck a ball just over the right-field fence one batter later for a two-run homer and an 8-2 advantage.
Christian James pitched a scoreless eighth and Dan Kubiuk a scoreless ninth, who struck out the final three batters he faced, to win the rubber game.
Washington welcomes New Jersey to Wild Things Park for a three-game set beginning Friday at 7:05 p.m. Stick around after the game for Fireworks Friday at the ballpark. Tickets are available at wildthingstickets.com.