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Rock Cats rally to beat Squirrels again

Rock Cats logoNEW BRITAIN, May 2 – Richmond still hasn’t found a way to beat the Rock Cats this season. New Britain erased a three-run deficit with five runs in the seventh inning to earn a 5-3 decision Saturday night at New Britain Stadium. 

The Rock Cats (15-7) have won 13 of their last 15 games after beginning the season with a 2-5 record. They are a sparkling 5-0 against the Flying Squirrels (3-16) coming into Sunday’s 1:35 p.m. series ending matinee at the Stadium.

Trailing 3-0 in the seventh, New Britain second baseman Pat Valaika doubled to drive in catcher Jan Vazquez from first base. Two batters later, shortstop Trevor Story walked to load the bases. Centerfielder Noel Cuevas singled to score Valaika. A two-run single from Tyler Massey gave the Rock Cats a 4-3 lead. Cuevas added the fifth run on an error. 

Rock Cats starter Shane Carle had been scattering hits all evening – nine through 4 1/3 innings – without any damage before giving up a fifth inning home run. The right-hander also walked two and struck out four before leaving down by three runs.

Right-handed pitcher Justin Miller earned the win in relief for New Britain, improving to 1-1 on the year and RHP Austin House converted his eighth save in nine opportunities.

Carle was looking to begin the year with five straight victories. He became the first Rock Cats pitcher in club history to win his first four starts when he defeated Harrisburg on Monday at Metro Bank Park. He went 6.2 innings, allowing seven hits and five runs in a 13-6 victory. He had walked just one batter in his first four starts. This is his first season in the Rockies’ organization after being acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates this past November for Major League reliever Rob Scahill.

This is the first-ever series between two National League affiliates at New Britain Stadium. New Britain is now a Colorado Rockies affiliate and Richmond is a San Francisco Giants farm club. So, there is no designated hitter in this series and the pitchers are batting. When an American League and National League affiliate meet, they play under rules of the home team.

Since 2009, the Collinsville Press has been providing award-winning coverage of sports and news in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.

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