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3…2…1…Blast Off! M’s Crush Five Homers in 12-6 Slugfest

Zimmerman launches first two professional home runs, Guarnaccia and Ugueto go back-to-back

The Pulaski Mariners used five long balls to come from behind in a thrilling 12-6 victory against the Danville Braves at historic Calfee Park Wednesday night.1048835_682316918461356_262122058_o

M’s sixteen year old starting pitcher Luiz Gohara made his second professional appearance and struggled mightily on the mound. Gohara allowed a first-inning run on an RBI single by Victor Caratini and couldn’t escape the second inning. After retiring the first two batters on strikeouts in the second, six straight men reached to chase Gohara. He left with the bases loaded before reliever Scott Ronnenbergh retired Braves’ catcher Bryan De La Rosa on a pop-out to second.

Gohara’s final line wasn’t pretty, as he allowed four hits, five runs (all earned), and two walks. He struck out two and hit a batter.

The M’s got on the scoreboard in the home half of the second as Joe DeCarlo hit his first home run of the season, a solo shot to straightaway center.

Danville answered with a solo blast of their own in the third, a long drive off the bat of Jacob Schrader.

Pulaski rallied to cut the deficit to two in the third. Jeff Zimmerman led off the inning with his first professional home run, and Ray Michel’s RBI double to the gap in right-center made the game 5-3 Braves.

The Braves extended their lead in the sixth on an infield single from Caratini that scored Kyle Wren all the way from second base.

Following the sixth inning, the Braves’ bats finally were silenced. As their bats went quiet, the Mariners’ bats continued to pound the baseball.

With two outs and nobody on in the bottom of the seventh, Ian Miller grounded a routine grounder to Braves’ shortstop Johan Camargo whose toss across the diamond was low. First baseman Jackson Laumann couldn’t pick the low throw, and the rest is history.

Keith Werman continued the two-out rally with a perfectly executed bunt down the third base line. Jeff Zimmerman then reached on a fielder’s choice to shortstop as Werman beat the throw to second. Joe DeCarlo followed with a bases-loaded walk.

That set up the heroics for Luke Guarnaccia.

Ryan Gunther relieved Andrew Wasnak, the first reliever from the Braves’ pen. Needless to say, tonight was a night Gunther would like to forget.

For Guarnaccia, it’s a night he’ll never forget.

The switch-hitting Guarnaccia greeted the right-hander on the first pitch he saw with a towering grand slam over the green monster in right-center field.

The grand slam gave Pulaski their first lead of the game at 8-6 and sent the 742 people in attendance on Military Appreciation night at Calfee Park, into a frenzy.

Sadly for Gunther, the home run parade hadn’t reached the finish line just yet.

Jesus Ugueto went back-to-back with Guarnaccia with a long fly ball that cleared the scoreboard in center to make it 9-6 in favor of the Mariners. In the eighth, Zimmerman sent a three-run homer, his second home run of the game, to right-center that pushed the M’s lead to six.

Wander Marte (1-0, 0.00 ERA) earned the win with a scoreless seventh inning for the Mariners. Emilio Pagan, a 2013 10th round selection of the Mariners, pitched two scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth to earn his first professional save.

Danville’s Andrew Waszak took the loss after allowing four unearned runs in the six-run seventh inning.

Braves starter Andry Ubiera threw five innings, allowing six hits and three runs. He walked one and struck out six.

Zimmerman led the M’s on offense going 2-for-5 with two home runs, three runs scored, and four RBI’s. Guarnaccia matched Zimmerman in RBI’s with his grand slam in a 2-for-4 effort.

Danville’s Kyle Wren was 3-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI, and two runs scored. Wren is the son of Atlanta Braves General Manager Frank Wren.

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