The Pulaski Mariners (29-24) could not hold onto a late-game lead against the Johnson City Cardinals (28-26). The Cardinals scored one run in both the eighth and ninth innings to wrestle the contest from Pulaski.
Luis Pina (1-4, 4.54 ERA) made the spot start for manager Rob Mummau and struggled. He labored through three innings and surrendered four runs. The defense did Pina no favors-only two of those runs were earned.
After four complete innings, Pulaski trailed four-to-one, but a three-run fifth inning would knot up the game. Daniel Torres led off the inning with a line drive single into center. Torres scored when Yordi Caldron ripped a double into center. Two outs later, Arby Fields blasted a two-run over the right field wall.
Cardinals' center fielder put his team back on top with a two-run single in the sixth inning, but Pulaski would one-up Johnson City in the bottom of the frame. Estarlyn Morales blasted a leadoff double and would later score.
Four walks, a wild pitch, and a passed ball pushed three Mariners across the plate without the benefit of a run scoring hit.
Pulaski scored once more in the seventh inning to grab ahold of an eight-to-seven advantage. Gianfranco Wawoe doubled and scored on a force out.
Johnson City mounted their comeback against Mariner reliever Daniel Thieben (2-1, 3.60 ERA). Thieben blew the save opportunity in the eighth inning, and lost the game in the ninth.
Two defensive miscues by Jose Leal played a crucial role in the game winning run. Leal slipped in left field which transformed a routine fly out into a single by Cole Lankford. On the next play, Leal dropped another fly ball which allowed Blake Drake to score.
Pulaski made some noise in the final half-inning. Wayne Taylor worked a leadoff walk to get things going, and Jay Baum followed behind with a single. A Torres sacrifice bunt opened up first base which led to an intentional walk of Calderon. However, Pulaski could not capitalize on the bases loaded opportunity. Leal and Tom Verdi both struck out to end the game.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.