Pulaski, VA - The Yankees and Reds took an hour and 20 minutes to complete the first two innings with the teams combining for 16 runs. Tack on another 24-minute rain delay that saw Calfee Park lose power for a brief period of time and the Yankees played their longest nine-inning game of the year but came out winners for the third straight game as they topped the Reds 15-8.
The Reds jumped out to another early lead as they pushed four runs across in the first inning as Yankees starter Ken Waldichuk threw 32 pitches. The Reds opened up the game with four straight singles and Waldichuk hit a batter and gave up a walk in the opening frame. He ended up striking out the side in the first and then two more in the top of the second.
The Yankees answered the Reds four runs with three of the own in the bottom of the first. As much as Waldichuk struggled in the top of the first, Reds starter Juan Abril had an even tougher start. He walked two of the first three batters with a single by Antonio Cabello sandwiched in between. The single scored one run thanks to a two-base error on the Reds left fielder and left Cabello standing on third base. The second error of the inning by the Reds scored another run as the Yankees cut the lead to 4-3 after a 39 minute first inning.
After retiring the Reds in order during the second inning, the Yankees came roaring all the way back to take a 12-3 lead thanks to six hits and three walks. Part of the six hits were a pair of triples from Borinquen Mendez and Cabello that each scored two runs. The nine runs scored in the inning were the most the Yankees have scored in a single inning all year long. The Yankees sent 13 batters to the plate in total - also a season high.
Waldichuk came out for the top of the third and inning and struck out his sixth batter of the evening. He gave up a single and threw a wild pitch to move the runner to second base. He got a flyout to the left fielder before his night was over and Elvis Peguero came in to pitch for Pulaski. He got the first guy he faced to ground out to end the top of the third.
The Reds started to cut back into the lead as Peguero hit the lead off batter to put him aboard in the fourth. An error followed which allowed the lead off runner to advance to third and he came around to score on a passed ball. The Reds added another run in the top of the fourth before Calfee Park lost power and the game went into a delay with the score at 12-6 in favor of Pulaski.
The Reds tacked on another two runs off Peguero as part of four unanswered to get back within four runs. The Yankees went down in order in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Mitch Spence came in to pitch the top of the seventh inning for Pulaski. The lead off batter reached second base after the ball popped out of the glove of Yankees center fielder as he was on a full sprint and tried to make the diving catch. Spence then struck out the next three batters as the Yanks held on to the 12-8 lead during stretch time at Calfee Park.
The Yankees added three runs in the bottom of the seventh. The first run coming on a double steal with runners on the corners and then back-to-back RBI doubles from Volpe and Cabello. The double from Cabello gave him his third hit of the night with four RBIs and three runs scored and finished a home run shy of the cycle.
Spence retired the Reds in order in the top of the eighth and ninth to record the three-inning save for Pulaski - his third save of the year.
The Yankees and Reds will conclude their three game series tomorrow night on Isiah Gilliam bobblehead night. Gilliam played for Pulaski during the 2016 season and batted .239 in 57 games with 52 hits, 10 home runs, 14 doubles and 33 RBIs. Since leaving Pulaski he has continued moving up the Yankees organization. He spent the 2017 season in Charleston, the 2018 season in Tampa. He began this year in Tampa and batted .269 in 36 games before getting called up to Double-A Trenton. The first 500 fans will get the third and final bobblehead of the 2019 promotional schedule. Gates open at 4 p.m. with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 when the Yankees go for the series sweep.
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.