Yankees ‘walk off’ with 4-3 win over Braves

The Pulaski Yankees won a back and forth contest against the Danville Braves 4-3 with a walk off single in the bottom of the ninth to give the team their third series sweep of the season and extend the winning streak to four games.

It was an eventful beginning of the game to say the least tonight at historic Calfee Park. Leonardo Pestana got the start on the bump for Pulaski and got off to a shaky start. After striking out the first batter of the game on three straight pitches, he got a strike on the first pitch to the second batter and then threw four straight balls to walk the runner. He then hit the next two batters on the first pitch of each at bat to load the bases for the Braves. Another four-pitch walk put the first run of the game on the scoreboard. Pestana earned his second strikeout of the inning before a wild pitch scored the second run of the game for Danville. Pestana struck out the next two batters to end the interesting top half of the inning.

Saul Torres drew a lead off walk in the bottom of the second inning before Gustavo Campero hit a single and moved Torres to second. A sacrifice bunt advanced both runners a base which allowed Torres to score on a sac-fly to right field to score the Yankees first run of the game and cut the Braves lead in half.

The wackiness of the evening continued in the middle of the third inning.

At some point during the first few innings, home plate umpire Kaleb Devier took a ricochet off his mask and trainers needed to evaluate him for a concussion. Field umpire Zach Robbins had to run and change into his protective gear and worked the rest of the game solo behind the plate.

Pestana lasted through the fourth inning and racked up seven strikeouts without giving up a hit. Nelson L. Alvarez replaced Pestana and struck out the first two batters he faced in the top of the fifth inning. Antonio Cabello led off the bottom of fifth inning with a double and scored on a Roberto Chirinos single up the middle to tie the game at 2-2. The Yankees looked as if they would be able to take the lead as they loaded the bases with just one out but ultimately failed to push the go ahead run across during the inning.

The Yanks finally did break through as they took the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. Chirinos led off the inning with a triple and scored two batters later as Chad Bell drove in his team-leading 30th RBI of the season to give the Yanks the 3-2 lead.

Danville evened the game up in the top of the eighth inning after hitting back-to-back doubles with two outs off Kenlly Montas who replaced Alvarez in the seventh inning. Montas had retired six of the first seven batters he faced before giving up the two doubles.

The Yanks hit a pair of singles with one out in the bottom of the eighth as the go-ahead run was standing on second. A double steal worked out perfectly as the Yankees put the go-ahead run just 90 ft away. They came up empty handed as the Braves got out of the jam with a pair of strikeouts and the game remained tied.

Montas bounced back in the top of the ninth to strike out the first two batters. Having just the one umpire made things a little more interesting as a close play at first gave the Braves a two out single. Another single gave the Braves runners on the corners with two outs and ended the night for Montas.

Hayden Wesneski came in to try and get the last out of the ninth and keep the scored knotted up at three apiece. He fell behind in the count before getting a ground ball to end the Braves threat and gave the Yanks a chance to walk it off.

Chirinos led off the inning with a little flair to right field to get the Yankees started. Ryder Green was hit with a pitch to put the winning run on second base for Chad Bell as he stepped into the box. Bell also drew a walk as the Yankees loaded the bases with no outs. The Braves finally earned the first out of the ninth with a strikeout of Saul Torres and sent Campero to the plate. Campero hit a single through the gap between first and second base to score Chirinos and give the Yanks their first home sweep of the Braves since Pulaski became a Yankees affiliate in 2015.

The Yanks will hit the road for another six game road trip beginning tonight as the team heads to Greenville to start a three game series against the Reds.