The Pulaski Mariners (29-22) won on Thursday night to even the four-game series with the Johnson City Cardinals (27-26). A rough outing by starter Troy Scott (2-2, 3.32 ERA) put the Mariners in an early hole, but Pulaski scored six runs through the final three innings to seal the victory.
The Mariners struck the first blow in the bottom of the second inning. Jay Baum reached first base when third basemen Cole Lankford let a grounder trickle through his legs. Baum scored on the next at-bat-a single by Daniel Torres.
Pulaski's advantage would not hold for long. The Cardinals scored in the next half-inning to tie the game. Adam Ehrlich singled and scored on a force out at second base by Casey Turgeon. Turgeon would have received credit for a hit on the play, but Arby Fields threw out Anthony Ray at second base.
Johnson City hung a crooked number on the board off Scott in the top of the fourth. Back-to-back walks placed runners on first and second for Lankford. Lankford atoned for his earlier fielding error by launching a three-run home run over the wall in deep right field.
Rohn Pierce (4-1, 3.31 ERA) relieved Scott in the fifth inning. Pierce kept the Mariners in the ballgame with three-and-one-third shutout innings. The Cardinals were able to get on base against Pierce-he allowed three hits and two walks-but Rohn worked around the base runners. Pierce would receive credit for the win.
The Mariners tied the game with a three-run sixth inning. Five Pulaski batters reached base safely before Johnson City could record an out. An Estarlyn Morales single followed by walks to Wayne Taylor and Baum loaded the bases.
With the sacks full Torres drove home the first run with a single. Another single-this one from Taylor Zeutenhorst-pushed another run across the plate. Baum scored the final run of the inning on a double play grounder.
Zeutenhorst went two-for-four on Thursday night with a run score and one run batted in. It was the second multi-hit game for Zeutenhorst in the Johnson City series.
"I'm staying back on the ball and getting my pitch" Zeutenhorst said. "Earlier in the season, I was jumping out at balls."
The Mariners carried the offensive moment with them going forward. They scored twice more in the seventh inning to take the lead and tacked on one more insurance run in the eighth inning.
"We were putting together better at-bats later in the game" Zeutenhorst said. "We were all going deeper into counts and hitting our pitches."
Peter Miller (2-1, 1.55 ERA) had an easy transition into his new role of closer with a perfect five-out performance and picked up his fifth save of the year. Miller now bears the burden of finishing out Pulaski wins following the departure of Trey Cochran-Gill to the Everett AquaSox.
The two teams play once more tomorrow night at Calfee Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7pm.