Pulaski, VA - The Pulaski Yankees used a big seventh inning to complete their comeback win Friday night and win the three game series against the Bluefield Blue Jays by a score of 9-3.
Despite the final score, this game was a pitcher's duel for the first five innings. Yankees starting pitcher Jhonatan Munoz pitched 5.2 solid innings where he gave up just two runs on five hits and struck out seven Blue Jays. On the other side, Blue Jays starting pitcher pitched five innings and gave up just three hits and one run while also striking out seven batters.
The Yankees struck first as they were able to string together a trio of two-out singles that allowed Ryder Green to score the games first run in the bottom of the first inning. Bluefield answered back with a run in the second inning on a two-out hit of their own that went over the wall in right field. The game remained knotted up at 1-1 into the sixth inning before the Blue Jays broke the tie game as they were able to get their first two batters of the inning aboard via a couple of singles. With runners on the corners, Bluefield hit a ball deep enough to right field to allow the run to score despite an excellent throw from Jake Pries.
Bluefield added to their lead in the top of the seventh inning after hitting a pair of two-out triples. The first one just got in the alley in left-center field and trickled all the way to the wall before Madison Santos could finally track it down. The second one was a very well hit ball that would have been a home run had it not been for Green in center field. Green had a great track on the ball in the air and very nonchalantly jumped up to catch the ball. As the ball hit his glove, his hand and wrist hit the wall and forced the ball to pop out of the webbing in the glove and land on the warning track. The runner advanced to third as Pries and Green searched for the ball but would not score as Jackson Bertsch struck out the next batter and kept the score at 3-1.
Things then took a very wacky turn in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Madison Santos starting the inning by popping up to the pitcher's mound for what seemed like a routine out. The third baseman, pitcher and first baseman all converged and refused to give ground to the others. The third baseman stuck his glove out in front of the pitchers glove to no avail as the ball ended up on the ground and left Santos standing on second. Pries singled to right and gave the Yankees runners on the corners with nobody out and primed to cut into the Blue Jays lead. Newly assigned first baseman Jake Farrell hit a rocket of a line drive that went right over the glove of the Blue Jays right fielder for the second error of the inning.
The Yankees took the lead the very next batter as Borinquen Mendez hit a blooper over second base to score Farrell and Pries. A balk allowed Mendez to advance to second before moving up to third on another single. A perfectly executed bunt gave the Yankees a bases loaded situation all with no outs still. The Yankees put together four more hits including a double by Santos who got the seventh inning started by hustling out what should have been an out and allowed them to break the game wide open and take a 9-3 lead.
Derek Craft came in to pitch the eighth and ninth inning for Pulaski and only allowed one base runner to close the door on Bluefield and deliver the series win for the Yankees.
Pulaski will be right back in action tomorrow night as they host the Bristol Pirates in the start of a four game series at Calfee Park. Pulaski will return their wildly popular Ag Night promotion from last year and go even bigger this time around. Head to the ballpark as Pulaski turns to Moo-Laski as the team will dawn specialty cow themed jerseys. The fun doesn't stop there though as the Yankees will once again auction off a live cow plus there will be a special session of pre-game yoga on the field with live cows. The first 500 fans in the park will head home with a Calf-E bobblehead. Gates will open at 4 p.m. and first pitch is scheduled for 6:30.
The Pulaski Yankees are the Advanced Rookie level affiliate of the New York Yankees playing in the Appalachian League. Pulaski is celebrating its 54th season in the Appalachian League in 2019. Calfee Park has won league championships in 1948, 1969, 1986, 1991 and 2013. Motor Mile Field at Calfee Park opened in 1935 and was renovated for the team's first season as a Yankees affiliate in 2015. For more information, please visit www.pulaskiyankees.net or follow the Pulaski Yankees on social media, @PulaskiYanks (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram). This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.