The Pulaski Yankees dropped an extra innings contest to the Johnson City Cardinals on Monday night 6-3 after the Yankees tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with two outs.
After a four-pitch walk to lead off the game for Pulaski, Antonio Cabello roped a double into the left field corner to score Borinquen Mendez from first and the Yankees took an early 1-0 lead.
Leonardo Pestana got the start on the bump for Pulaski and delivered probably his best performance so far on the year in his 10 starts as the last starter in Pulaski’s rotation. He struck out two in the first inning and started the top of the second with a strikeout before getting the Cardinals to fly out in consecutive order. He started the game by retiring the first 10 in order before the 11th batter of the night hit a single but was then thrown out for the third out of the inning as he tried to swipe second base and Pestana had faced the minimum through four innings.
Jake Farrell hit his second home run of the year and second in three days as he hit his first home run in the series finale against Kingsport on Saturday night. The solo home run tonight put the Yanks up 2-0.
Pestana continued to dazzle as he kept the Cardinals off the board in the fifth and sixth innings while racking up another three strikeouts to give him seven on the night. Pestana’s previous high in innings pitched on the year was five innings, which was in his previous appearance on August 13. He surpassed that by a whole inning tonight and looked to be even more until he threw his second and third pitch in the seventh inning.
Aaron Antonini jumped on a 1-0 fastball and ripped it over the right-center field wall to cut the Yanks lead in half at 2-1. The Cardinals eighth ranked prospect, Jhon Torres jumped on the very next pitch and hit that one over the wall in left to tie the game for Johnson City. Pestana was replaced by Hayden Wesneski who pitched the remainder of the seventh inning and then the eighth without giving up any more runs.
The Yanks couldn’t capitalize on a lead off double by Jose Martinez in the bottom of the seventh and then a two-out single from Mendez that gave the Yankees runners on the corners. Then Pulaski ran into some outs in the bottom of the eighth inning that killed any momentum they were building with some late inning hits.
The Cardinals broke the tie in the top of the ninth after a leadoff single came around to score with two outs on an error by Martinez at third and Johnson City had a 3-2 lead. Robert Javier hit a lead off double to right center field before back-to-back Yankees struck out and put the Yanks down to their last out. Chad Bell pinch-hit and delivered an opposite field single to tie the game and force extra innings.
The Cardinals dropped a bunt towards third base and Nelson L Alvarez tried to spin and throw the runner out at third but the throw sailed and the Cardinals scored their first of three runs in the extra frame to go ahead 6-3. The Yankees put themselves in a corner once again after the first two batters went down in order and pushed them down to their last out. Jake Pries was hit by a pitch and sent the potential tying run to the plate in Farrell but he popped out to end the game.
The two teams will conclude their four game series with some day baseball today. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. and Calfee Park will play host to nearly 2,000 local middle schoolers who will ditch their pencils and notebooks for a couple hours or so and head out to the ballpark for ‘Field Trip Day’ courtesy of Food Lion and Walmart.