Burt’s clutch hit gives Yankees late lead to even series

JOHNSON CITYTn – Griffin Garabito hit a three-run “little league” homer in the fifth inning, followed by a RBI single by Max Burt in the ninth lifted the Pulaski Yankees to a 5-4 victory over the Johnson City Cardinals on Sunday evening. 

The Johnson City Cardinals used the long ball to jump out to a 3-0 lead at TVA Credit Union Ballpark in the second frame. Yankees’ starting pitcher Wellington Caceres became only the second starter this season to allow multiple homers in a single start since Alexander Vizcaino surrendered two long balls against the Greeneville Reds on June 23. 

Dariel Gomez went yard to deep right field with Nolan Gorman on base. Michael Perri followed with a solo homer to complete a three-run inning. Pulaski answered in the fifth run inning with a four spot to take a 4-3 lead. Max Burt and Juan De Leon reached base for Griffin Garabito’s second at bat with the Yankees. Garabito was assigned the previous day to Pulaski from the Charleston River Dogs. A line drive single to right field mishandled by Cardinals’ Brian Sanchez scored Burt, De Leon, and eventually Garabito on the same play for the “little league” home run. 

Later in the inning, Evan Alexander reached base, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on an Everson Pereira RBI single to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead. Johnson City drew even with one out in the eighth inning on their third homer of the ballgame. With nobody on, Carlos Espinal gave up the long ball to catcher Zach Jackson to tie the game at 4-4.

But Pulaski prevailed in the ninth inning and retook the lead. Nelson Gomez led off the top of the ninth with a double, and later moved to third base on a one out wild pitch. With Burt batting, he singled in the eventual game-winning run to put Pulaski ahead, 5-4. 

After receiving the blown save in the eighth, Espinal worked around a runner in scoring position with one out in the bottom of the ninth to successfully retire the side and earn the win for the Yankees. Pulaski’s win improved their record to 8-11 on the 2018 season and improved their record to a perfect 3-0 on Sundays. The Yankees and Cardinals will conclude their three-game set Monday at 7 p.m.