Yankees rally for home-opener victory before 3,926 fans at Calfee Park

Randy Vasquez got the start on the mound for the Yankees. He got into a bit of trouble as he walked the first batter of the game who eventually advanced to second base on a fielder’s choice byRoberto Chirinos. He would later score when Yankees first baseman Carlos Tatis couldn’t quite get a handle on a sharp hit ball down the first base line.

The Yankees tied things up in the bottom of the second inning when Saul Torres hit a solo homerun to right center field. Vasquez did settle into a groove on the mound as he struck out a batter in each of the first three innings. The Blue Jays would regain the lead in the top of the third inning after Radford University alum Spencer Horwitz would come around to score after he reached on a dropped third strike that got past Torres.

Vasquez was replaced by Nelvin Correa in the top of the fifth inning for the Yankees. The Blue Jays strung together a couple of hits and extended their lead to 4-1 before adding a two run homerun off Correa to push their lead to 5 runs before the fifth inning was over.

The Yankees got their first base runner of the night when Anthony Garcia walked with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Two batters later, Saul Torres drew a two out walk to give the Yankees runners on first and second with two outs when Roberto Chirinos hit a double down the left field line to cut the lead to 6-2.

With runners on second and third, Bluefield pitcher Aldo Ovando balked in a run and allowed Chirinos to advance to third base. Chirinos would score just a couple of pitches later thanks to a passed ball to pull the Yankees within two runs at 6-4 at the end of the seventh inning.

The Yankees threatened again in the bottom of the eighth inning when Carlos Tatis walked to lead off the inning. They then were able to hit a couple of singles to load the bases with no outs. Garcia hit a sacrifice fly to score Tatis and pull the Yankees within one run. Saul Torres came through again at the dish for the Yankees as hit a hard ground ball up the middle to score two runs and give the Yankees their first lead of the year. They tacked on another to make it 8-6 heading into the top of the ninth inning.

Wilser Barrios came on in the ninth inning to try and close the game out but after an error and walk gave Bluefield two runners on and the potential go-ahead run at the plate, Manager Luis Dorante called on his bullpen to close the door on the Blue Jays.

RHP Jackson Bertsch came in and did just that by striking out both batters he faced completing the thrilling comeback for Pulaski and their fans. The Yankees and Blue Jays will face off again tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m.

By Cory Hilborne / Pulaski Yankees