DANVILLE, Va. – The Pulaski Yankees tallied two runs in the top of the ninth to secure a 7-6 victory in a back-and-forth contest against the Danville Braves Thursday night. Everson Pereira paced the Yankees’ offense with a 4-for-5 night at the plate, delivering the game-tying RBI before scoring the winning run in the final frame.
Juan De Leon (2-for-3) opened the scoring in the top of the second, connecting for his third home run of the season to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead, but the Braves would answer with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a 2-1 advantage. The home squad used an RBI single from Nick Shumpert and an RBI ground out from Justin Dean to jump in front before adding a run the following inning to grow the lead to 3-1 via an RBI single from Rusber Estrada.
Pulaski scored a pair of runs in the fifth and sixth innings to reclaim the lead 5-3. In the top of the fifth, the Yankees used three-straight singles, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly to tie the game, with Pereira and Max Burt claiming RBIs. After Daniel Bies struck out the side in a shutdown inning for the Yanks, Robert Javier scored Carlos Narvaez with a sacrifice fly to center before an RBI single from Oswald Peraza plated Jordan Scott to make it a 5-3 lead for the visitors.
In the seventh inning, the Braves tallied three runs to take a 6-5 advantage they would maintain until the final inning. Greg Cullen hit a line-drive single to left field to plate Dean and Andrew Moritz, tying the game at 5-5. CJ Alexander Jr. then delivered a triple to right, scoring Cullen and putting the Braves ahead 6-5.
Trailing in the top of the ninth, Ezequiel Duran led off the final frame with a single to left before coming around to score on Pereira’s game-tying double. A fielding error on the following play allowed Pereira to score and put the Yankees on top 7-6. Carlos Espinal closed the door in the bottom of the ninth to secure the victory for the Yankees, who will look to complete the series sweep Friday night.
Espinal earned the win after 2.2 scoreless innings pitched, improving to 3-0 on the season with an impressive 0.53 ERA. The Yankees tallied seven runs on 14 hits, one shy of the team’s season high of 15 recorded June 22 vs. Greeneville, while the Braves scored six runs on 11 hits. The two teams will meet for the series finale Friday when Yankees no. 5 prospect Luis Medina will take the mound looking to help the Yankees earn the sweep.