Burlington, N.C. - The Pulaski Yankees kept their win streak rolling as they defeated the Burlington Royals 7-5 in an Independence Day slugfest at the Burlington Athletic Stadium.
Antonio Cabello got the Yankees on the board in the top of the third inning as he hit his second home run of the year, and second in as many games, to put the Yankees up 1-0. Saul Torres added another solo shot in the top of the fourth inning to extend the lead for Pulaski.
Randy Vasquez got the start on the mound for the Yankees and went 3.2 innings, struck out four batters while walking three and giving up just one hit. The problem for Vasquez was the one hit he gave up gave the Royals a 3-2 lead when Royals designated hitter, Logan Porter, hit the ball over the center field wall. Sean Boyle relieved Vasquez to get the last out in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Royals lead didn't last long though as the Yankees tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the fifth inning when Anthony Volpe, the Yankees first round pick, hit his first career home run on an 0-2 pitch to left-center field.
The game would remain tied into the eighth inning thanks to the Yankees bullpen. Boyle went 3.1 innings while striking out four Royals batters and also just giving up just one hit.
The Yankees broke the tie game in the top of the eighth inning. After drawing a one out walk, Ryder Green advanced to second base on a wild pitch to give the Yankees a runner in scoring position. After Torres struck out swinging, Spencer Henson swung at the first pitch he saw and belted one over left field to put the Yankees up 5-3.
After securing the late lead, Yankees called on Jackson Bertsch to try and close the game out. Bertsch had been dominant in his first four appearances of the season allowing zero runs in 3.2 innings of work with just three hits and seven strikeouts. The Royals placed the leadoff man aboard after a throwing error from Borinquen Mendez. Burlington made that mistake hurt as the very next batter hit a game-tying home run down the right field line on a 3-2 count. Bertsch then lost control of a pitch that hit the next Royals batter to place the go-ahead run on first base for Burlington. The Yankees finally earned the first out of the inning as the Burlington hitter popped out to Henson in foul territory down the first base side. Bertsch then walked the next two batters to load the bases for Burlington in the bottom of the eighth inning with just one out.
Tyler Johnson replaced Bertsch and struck out the first batter he faced in the pressure-filled situation before getting the third out of the inning as Johnson fielded a ground ball hit back to him and ended the Royals threat unscathed.
The top of the ninth inning started the same for the Yankees as the Royals half of the eighth inning. Mendez reached base on a throwing error by the Royals and then advanced to second base as Burlington tried to track down the ball as it got past the first baseman. After two quick outs, Mendez advanced to third base on a wild pitch from Royals pitcher Alex Smith. Just a couple pitches later, Oliver Dunn drew a two-out walk to give the Yankees runners on the corners for Ryder Green. Smith then walked Green and things went from good to great for the Yankees as the ball got past the catcher and allowed Mendez to score from third and give Pulaski a 6-5 lead. Saul Torres drove in another run as he singled through the left side of the infield and Dunn came around to score and gave Pulaski a 7-5 lead.
Johnson came out for the bottom of the ninth to close out the game for the Yankees and he did just that. After the leadoff batter flew out to right field the Royals singled to send the tying run to the plate. Johnson got the strikeout and then another fly ball to end the game and send the Yankees off with their fourth win in a row.
The four homeruns hit by the Yankees is the most they have hit in a game this season and 10-12 runs scored in the game were off home runs. The Yankees and Royals will play again tonight in game two of their three game series from Burlington with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 P.M.
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.