The Pulaski Yankees beat the Princeton Rays by a score of 9-5 Friday night at Calfee Park. The Yankees improved their season record to 2-0 while the Rays dropped to 0-2.
The Rays took the early lead in the top of the 1st. Centerfielder Carl Chester led off with an infield single. Shortstop Zach Rutherford then dropped a bunt down the first base line and a throw from Yankees pitcher Jio Orozco sailed over the head of the first baseman Eric Wagaman into right field which allowed both runners to advance into scoring position. Ronaldo Hernandez hit a hard grounder in the hole between short and third for an infield single which allowed Chester to score to give the Rays a 1-0 lead.
The Yankees struck back in the bottom of the 1st. Back to back walks put Jesus Bastidas and Andres Chaparro on 1st and 2nd with only one out. Wagaman singled to drive home Bastidas to tie the game at 1-1. A wild pitch from Rays pitcher Luis Moncada allowed Chaparro to score and give the Yankees a 2-1 advantage.
The Yankees extended their lead in the bottom of the 4th. With one out Dermis Garcia watched four straight pitches miss outside of the strike zone for a walk. Saul Torres sent a groundball to shortstop Zach Rutherford but he couldn’t make the play which put runners on 1st and 2nd. Pulaski leftfielder Brayan Emery dug into the box and laced a two RBI triple off the centerfield wall which gave the Yankees the 4-1 lead. Andy Diaz kept the rally alive by belting a two run homerun over the leftfield wall to make it 6-1.
Moncada pitched four innings giving up five earned runs on three hits and three walks. His record on the season went to 0-1.
Right handed reliever Jeffrey Rosa came in to pitch in the bottom of the 5th but was unable to slow down the Yankees offense. Bastidas hit a ringing double off the right field wall on the first pitch of the inning. Chaparro then smacked a single to left which put runners on the corners. Wagaman sent a base hit into right field to drive home Bastidas giving the Yankees a 7-1 lead. Garcia kept the rally alive with a walk to load the bases.
Following a Torres strikeout Emery singled into right center to score two more Yankees runs. After five innings the Yankees looked to be in cruise control with a 9-1 lead.
Orozco left the game with the Yankees in control. He pitched five innings giving up no earned runs on six hits, three walks and four strikeouts. He earned the win to put his season record at 1-0.
The Rays made a valiant comeback attempt in the top of the 8th. Andrew Miller led off the inning with a double. Bryce Brown was then drilled by a pitch by Yankees reliever Mark Seyler. Trey Hair sent a high fly ball to left that popped out of Emery’s glove and onto the warning track. The error loaded the bases with no outs for Seaver Whalen. On a 3-2 pitch Whalen singled to drive home Miller to put the score at 9-2. Joey Roach singled up the middle to make the score 9-3.
Chester grounded into a fielder’s choice that allowed Hair to come across the plate which made the score 9-4. Following a Rutherford strikeout Abel Duarte came in to pitch for the Yankees.
He threw a wild pitch that allowed another run to score and make it 9-5. Following a walk to Hernandez, Devin Davis grounded out to end the top of the 8th.
Duarte stayed on to finish the game in the 9th. The Yankees won by a final score of 9-5. The pinstripers will look to sweep the Rays on Saturday night. First pitch is set for 7 pm.