The Burlington Royals topped the Pulaski Yankees 9-7 on Saturday night in the first of a three game set. Pulaski’s record dropped to 16-7 while Burlington moved to 8-14.
The Royals were led by Michael Gigliotti who notched two hits and drove in three runs. Burlington reliever Michael Messier earned the win to move his season record to 1-4. He pitched four innings and gave up only one run while striking out five.
Pulaski reliever Carlos Espinal was tagged with the loss to drop his record to 1-1. In 4.2 innings of work he gave up three earned runs on four hits.
The Royals took the early lead in the top of the 1st off of Yankees starter Dalton Lehnen. Gigliotti and Oliver Nunez opened the inning with back to back singles. A wild pitch later in the inning allowed Gigliotti to advance to 3rd. A pickoff throw to 1st got by Andres Chaparro which allowed Nunez to move to 2nd and Gigliotti to score to give the Royals a 1-0 lead.
Burlington extended their lead in the top of the 2nd. Sebastian Rivero sent a grounder back to the mound but Lehnen’s throw to 1st was off the mark which allowed Rivero to advance to 2nd. Jose Marquez walked with two outs to put runners on 1st and 2nd. A passed ball then allowed both runners to move into scoring position. Gigliotti sent a single into left to chase home Rivero and Marquez to make the score 3-0.
The Yankees got on the board in the bottom of the 2nd thanks to a Steven Sensley solo shot that sailed over the right centerfield wall.
Eduardo Torrealba opened the bottom of the 3rd with a walk and moved to 2nd on a sacrifice bunt by Frederick Cuevas. He advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch and scored on a Pablo Olivares single to cut Pulaski’s deficit to 3-2.
Sensley kept the inning alive with a two out single into right that scored Olivares and Jesus Bastidas to give the Yankees a 4-3 edge. Sensley came around to score to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead after a routine grounder off the bat of Chaparro got by Nunez at short and into leftfield.
The Royals knotted the score at five apiece in the top of the 5th. Dennicher Carrasco sent a sac fly to left that scored Seuly Matias. Cal Jones tied the game with a double off the leftfield wall to score Reed Rohlman.
Burlington loaded the bases in the top of the 8th. Carrasco reached on a throwing error by Dermis Garcia to begin the inning. With one out Rivero singled and Nick Hutchins was hit by a pitch.
Matthew Wivinis came into the game to try and keep the Royals off the board but Marquez lined a single back up the middle to score Carrasco and give the Royals a 6-5 lead.
Gigliotti followed with a walk that scored Rivero to make it 7-5. Wivinis put an end to the inning by getting Nunez to ground into a double play.
The Yankees scratched a run across in the bottom of the 8th on a Brayan Emery single that scored Sensley to make the score 7-6.
The Royals added a couple of insurance runs in the top of the 9th. Matias scored on a Rohlman triple to centerfield to make it 8-6. Carrasco followed with a sacrifice fly that allowed Rohlman to trot home giving the Royals a 9-6 lead going into the bottom of the 9th.
The Royals brought in Tyler Zuber to finish off the pinstripers. The Yankees refused to go down quietly as Olivares singled and Bastidas reached on an error with no outs. Garcia laced a single into right to make the score 9-7.
Zuber was able to stop the bleeding as he got Sensley and Chaparro to strike out to end the game.
The Yankees and Royals will face off again on Sunday night. First pitch is set for 7 pm.