The Yanks scored four runs in each of the first two innings as they cruised to a series-opening win over Kingsport 8-2 on Thursday night.
Reid Anderson made the start on the mound for Pulaski tonight and pitched five innings and gave up just four hits and no runs while racking up nine strikeouts. He struck out the first batter of the game before issuing one of his two walks on the night but bounced back by striking out the second batter of the inning and then got a ground ball to end the top of the first.
Pulaski struck for four runs in the bottom of the second inning to break the game wide open. The first four batters worked a full count – the first three earning walks – before Ryder Green hit a sac fly to score Robert Javier from third base. Chad Bell hit a single to load the bases and made the Mets make a call to their bullpen much earlier than they would have ever anticipated with just one out in the bottom of the first. Luis Silva then hit Jake Pries on a 2-2 count to score another run for Pulaski. A 2-out double off the right field wall from Borinquen Mendez put the Yanks up 4-0 before the Mets finally got out of the inning after seeing all nine Yankees hitters in the first.
Pulaski scored another four runs in the bottom of the second inning thanks to a three-run home run from Pries that bounced off the roof of the visitor’s clubhouse in left field.
Kenlly Montas replaced Anderson in the top of the sixth inning and faced four batters and earned one strikeout and issued one walk. Evan Voliva made his Pulaski Yankees debut after making 10 appearances in the Gulf Coast League prior to joining Pulaski a couple days ago. He struck out two in his first inning of work giving the Yankees 12 on the night through seven innings. Voliva struck out two more in the top of the eighth inning placing them just one shy of tying the most in a game all year.
Hayden Wesneski came in to pitch the ninth inning and gave up a walk and a back-to-back hits to load the bases for the Mets with one out. The third straight single scored the first run of the night for Kingsport before a wild pitch scored the second run. Wesneski then walked the next guy to load the bases once again before a ground ball to Jose Martinez lead to a double play to end the game.
With a win and a loss tonight by the Bluefield Blue Jays, the Yankees inch that much closer to securing a playoff spot and the magic number is down to just three games. The division race is still tight with Burlington lurking 4.5 games back with a three game series upcoming.
The Yanks and Mets will continue their series tonight with a post game fireworks show and it’ll be the last Fan-Omenal Friday at the ballpark this season. Gates open at 4:00 p.m. with first pitch scheduled for 6:30.