The Pulaski Yankees used two home runs and dominant pitching to top the Braves 3-2 in game one of the three game series from Calfee Park.
The Braves got the scoring going early as the second batter of the game hit a solo home run off to right-center field with one out off Yankees starter Randy Vasquez to give the Braves a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Braves starter Tyler Owens continued his success against Pulaski that he showed in his previous start against the Yankees on July 19th as he pitched three innings without giving up a hit. Tonight, he made it through 2.1 before the Yankees got their first hit with a solo home run by Jose Martinez to tie the game.
It was a no-doubter in terms of distance but went over the top of the foul pole and was close enough for Braves manager Anthony Nunez to come out and argue the call with the home plate umpire. The game didn’t remain tied for very long as the Braves scored in the top of the fourth on a sacrifice fly to go up 2-1.
After holding the Braves scoreless in the top of the fifth, the Yankees took the lead in the bottom of the inning. They led off the inning with a walk before Madison Santos hit his fourth home run of the season to put the Pulaski on top 3-2.
Sean Boyle replaced Vasquez in the top of the fifth inning and pitched very well in his ninth appearance of the year. He got out of a bit of a jam as he came in with a runner on third and two outs before ending the inning with a strikeout. He gave up just one hit in his 2.1 innings and kept the lead intact for the Yankees.
The Yankees threatened again in the bottom of the seventh inning as Chirinos reached base on a dropped third strike to lead off the inning and eventually made it to third on a single from Jake Pries with two outs. The Yankees tried a double steal with runners on the corners to try and manufacture a run but Chirinos was thrown out at home to end the inning.
Mitch Spence came in to pitch for the Yankees in the top of the eighth and retired the Braves in order including two strikeouts.
They pieced together a little two-out rally in the eighth inning as Ryder Green drew a walk before Chad Bell hit a line drive single to right field. Another walk from Saul Torres loaded the bases but the Yanks couldn’t capitalize and left all three runners stranded as they took their one run lead to the ninth.
Spence remained in the game to close the game for Pulaski and he got the ninth started with a strikeout. Anthony Volpe made a spectacular play at shortstop for the second out. He ranged to his left and made a sliding play to stop the ball before throwing the ball across the diamond to bear the runner by a step. Another ground ball to the shortstop ended the game as the Yankees held on to win 3-2 and Spence earned his fist save of the year as he didn’t allow a hit in his two innings while striking out three Braves.
The Yankees will look to win the series tomorrow night as the teams will play game two from Calfee Park as the Yankees continue to honor those in the community. As Pulaski Yankees HOPE Week rolls on, Pulaski will be offering $2 general admission tickets to Town of Pulaski and Pulaski County employees. It’ll also be ‘winning Wednesday’ at the park. Fans will have numerous ways to leave the ballpark winners including our ‘golden ticket’ hotdog promotion. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.pulaskiyankees.net.