The Pulaski Yankees jumped out to an early lead and never took their foot off the gas as the offense erupted for eight runs thanks to two home runs and Pulaski topped Bluefield 8-1 on Thursday night at Calfee Park.
The win helped the Yankees even the series with Bluefield at one win a piece in this three game set. Pulaski scored just their sixth run in the first inning of a game this season to take an early lead. The Yankees were able to draw back-to-back walks before a double play left Anthony Volpe standing on third base for Ryder Green with two outs. Green blooped a single to shallow right field that allowed Volpe to score and gave the Yanks the early lead.
Pulaski added to their lead in the bottom of the third inning as the Yankees drew back-to-back walks once again to start the inning before Green again squeaked a ball through the infield on a broken bat single to left field. With the bases loaded, Chad Bell hit a ball to the base of the left field wall that scored all three runners on base. Bell made his way to home just a couple batters later on a fielder’s choice and an error by Bluefield to give Pulaski a 5-0 lead.
Bluefield scored their lone run of the game thanks to a solo home run from the Blue Jays third baseman, Angel Camacho, in the top of the fourth inning. The Yanks offense answered the Blue Jays run quickly as they tacked on another three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Antonio Cabello led off the inning with a triple off the left-center field wall. Chad Bell hit his second home run in as many games when he belted a 438-foot homer to dead center field that cleared the 30 ft. batters eye. Bell tied the Yankees single game high for RBIs in a game with his five runs tonight and has now driven in eight runs in the last two nights alone.
The Blue Jays had seen enough from their starting pitcher and called to their bullpen to face Jake Pries. He welcomed the pitcher with a solo shot of his own to give the Yankees back-to-back home runs and back-to-back games with a home run for Pries who hit a two run shot in the ninth inning last night.
Yankees starting pitcher Randy Vasquez had his best performance of the season tonight as he went on to earn his first win. Vasquez made his fourth start and went six innings where he gave up just the one earned run and struck out four Bluefield batters. After giving up a lead off single in the first inning, Vasquez retired 11 straight batters before giving up the solo home run. Vasquez hadn’t gone more than 4.1 innings in any of his first three starts and blew past that tonight on a very efficient 82 pitches.
Elvis Peguero replaced Vasquez in the seventh inning and also proceeded to give up a single to the first batter he faced before plunking the next one to give the Blue Jays two runners on with no outs. Peguero then settled into a groove and was able to get a double-play and another ground ball to get himself and the Yankees out of the inning unscathed. He dominated another inning as he sat Bluefield down in order in the top of the eighth with two straight strikeouts before getting the third batter to ground out to Bell at third base.
The Yankees went down in order in both the seventh and eighth innings before sending Mitch Spence to the mound to close the game out in the ninth. After the collapse in the ninth inning last night, Spence delivered tonight for the Yankees as he struck out the first two batters he faced. Borinquen Mendez ended the game by making a highlight play as he dove to his left at second base to rob what would have been a single on almost any other night.
As a pitching staff, Pulaski gave up just one free pass while striking out eight Blue Jays and gave up just five hits on the night.
The Yankees and Blue Jays will face off in yet another rubber match to determine a series winner. The Yankees defeated the Blue Jays here at Calfee Park in a three game series in late June.
Pulaski will host Princess Night at the ballpark and will host a girl scout campout following the end of the game. Tickets for tomorrows game can be purchased at www.pulaskiyankees.net or by calling the Yankees front office at 540-980-1070.