Ninth Inning Dooms M’s in 4-2 loss
The Pulaski Mariners came up short in game two of a three-game set to the Bluefield Blue Jays, allowing tiebreaking runs in the ninth in a 4-2 losing effort.
The M’s offense started right where it left off from Sunday night’s contest, grabbing the lead in the bottom half of the first inning. Zach Shank laced a one-out triple and scored on a groundout by Isaiah Yates.
The 1-0 lead didn’t last long as Jays DH John Silviano launched his second homer in as many games – a long solo shot to right that landed across the street in a neighboring yard, just feet away from the exact location of his Sunday night blast.
Bluefield grabbed their first lead of the series in the fourth inning. Following a leadoff triple by Derrick Loveless, M’s starter Jose Flores uncorked a one-out wild pitch, allowing Loveless to trot home for a 2-1 Jays advantage.
Both teams then traded zeros until the home half of the seventh. M’s right fielder Wilton Martinez roped a one-out double to center and advanced to third on a Luke Guarnaccia flyout. With two away, first baseman Jeff Zimmerman hit a chopper to his counterpart, Jays first baseman Matt Dean. Dean couldn’t pick the grounder cleanly, allowing Martinez to score from third.
The Pulaski comeback wasn’t meant to be, however. M’s reliever Rafael Pineda struggled in his professional baseball debut, allowing a crucial one-out two-run double off the bat of Silviano in the ninth.
The Mariners refused to go quietly in the ninth. Yates led off with an infield single which brought up DH Kristian Brito. After falling behind 0-2, Brito turned on a Brady Dragmire fastball but the ball died at the warning track in left. Dragmire then got Martinez to ground into a fielder’s choice before retiring Guarnaccia on strikes to record his first save.
As a result, the former Texas A&M Aggie Pineda took the loss in front of 559 fans at Calfee Park.
Mariners righty Jose Flores continued the dominant starting pitching through the first five games of the Appalachian League season. He threw six strong innings, and allowed just three hits and two runs (both earned) in those frames. He walked one and struck out seven, but walked away with a no-decision.
His counterpart, former Virginia Cavalier in southpaw Scott Silverstein, was equally as impressive in his Appy League debut. The 2013 25 th round selection of the Toronto Blue Jays threw six innings, allowing just four hits and one earned run. Silverstein was a former teammate of Pulaski Mariner Keith Werman, who also played his college ball in Charlottesville. The two faced off two times, with Werman bunting for a base hit in his second appearance.
Yates led the charge for the Mariners once again on offense. The Clovis, California native followed up a 4-for-5 performance Sunday night with a 2-for-4 performance. Through five games, Yates is batting a whopping .450. He has three extra-base hits in the series.
Pulaski was scheduled to out the three-game series against the Blue Jays Tuesday at Calfee Park. Full details of this game will be available Wednesday.