Pulaski rallies to win rain-shortened contest

Princeton, WV – The Pulaski Yankees overcame a three run deficit to win the rubber match against the Rays 6-4 in a rain-shortened contest on Wednesday night.

The Yankees got a lead off double from Roberto Chirinos to start tonight’s game and Cabello followed him with a single that moved Chirinos to third base. Cabello was thrown out at second base as he tried to stretch his hit into a double and Pulaski left Chirinos stranded after a strikeout and a groundout.

Right-hander Leonardo Pestana got the start for Pulaski tonight and kept the Rays off the scoreboard through the first two innings. The Rays finally got the scoring going when they put up three runs in the third.

Pestana has been struggling with his command this year as he led the league in walks coming into tonight’s game and issued another four against the Rays in this one. Three of those walks came in the third inning when he walked the first two batters before giving up a double that scored the first run of the game. A single after that scored two more as the Rays took the 3-0 lead before Pestana issued another walk and saw his night come to an end after just 2.1 innings pitched. Jackson Bertsch came in to replace Pestana a lot earlier than Yankees fans are used to seeing him, as he has primarily been a last two-inning guy to this point in the season. He got the next two outs in order to keep the deficit within reach.

Pulaski finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth inning thanks to a home run by Chirinos with one out. He smacked the first pitch he saw out of the park to cut the lead down to only two runs for the time being. The Rays got the next two outs in order and regained their three-run lead in the bottom of the inning. Princeton led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple and scored him just a couple batters later on a single through the left side of the infield to take a 4-1 lead.

The Yanks threatened in the sixth after a single with one out from Gustavo Campero. However, he was caught stealing and took the runner off the bases right before Saul Torres hit a double. A wild pitch moved Torres to third base with two outs and he too was left stranded at third base with the Yanks trailing by just a few runs. Bertsch was replaced in the bottom of the sixth after getting the first two outs by Tyler Johnson who struck out the first batter he faced and sent the Yankees to the top of the seventh.

The fun began with a lead off single by Borinquen Mendez who advanced to second base on a passed ball. Jake Farrell scored Mendez with a double to the left-center field wall to cut the Rays lead in half. Not feeling to comfortable, the Rays brought in a new pitcher to face Chirinos. A wild pitch on his first delivery moved Farrell to third base before he eventually walked Chirinos. Another walk followed and gave the Yankees the bases loaded with no outs and down two runs. Chad Bell hit a sac-fly to score Farrell from third and bring the Yanks within a single run. Then, Ryder Green hit a single on the first pitch he saw to score two more and put Pulaski ahead 5-4. Torres delivered another double that scored Green and gave the Yankees the two run lead as the seventh inning came to an end.

Johnson retired the next six batters in order including striking out the side in the bottom of the eighth as the Yankees held on to the two-run lead heading into the ninth. That’s when Mother Nature made her entrance and had her say in the ball game. With two outs in the inning, the game went into a 41-minute delay due to rain and lightning before the field was determined to be too wet to continue and sealed the victory for Pulaski.

The win gave the Yanks just their fourth win of the year in 15 tries when they found themselves trailing after the sixth inning. The win also gave Pulaski their fourth consecutive series win.

The Yankees will return to Calfee Park tonight to begin a three-game series against the Greeneville Reds. Tomorrow will be Pink In the Park night as part of Pulaski’s partnership with the American Cancer Society. It’ll also be Thirsty Thursday and fans will be treated to discounted fountain drinks and $1 Coors Light 12oz draft beer and $2 16oz PBR cans. The fun begins when Calfee Park opens its gate’s at 4 p.m. with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m.