By MATTHEW WURZBURGER, pulaskimariners.net
The Pulaski Mariners took game three of their season opening series against the Burlington Royals by the score of 4-0. The Mariners coupled an excellent start by Daniel Missaki with timely hitting to complete the sweep.
Missaki was masterful and utilized his entire arsenal to silence Burlington’s bats. The Brazilian pitched 6.1innings of scoreless ball while yielding only three hits and fanning eight Royals. Missaki was aggressive, attacked both sides of the plate, and finished off batters with a deadly curveball.
“I was just trying to throw strikes” Missaki said. “I had a great feel of my curveball, and my confidence in that pitch is very high.”
It was a comedy of errors for the Royals defense as Burlington fielders committed four errors. Pulaski batters used the extra outs gifted to them to wear down the Royals’ staff and plate four runs.
Wayne Taylor was the offensive star of the night. The Stanford product belted another home run-his second in as many games-in a three-for-four effort. Also, he swiped a bag in the sixth inning. Taylor provides manager Rob Mummau with flexibility in both the batting order and the field.
“Taylor brings a lot” Mummau said. “He has left handed power, play either of the corner outfield spots, and he can run too. So far, we have nothing to complain about with him.”
Pulaski’s bullpen was lights out in relief of Missaki. Two relievers-Rohn Pierce and Jarrett Brown-combined for two-and-two-thirds innings of two hit ball to give the Mariners their first shutout of the young season. Only four Burlington base runners reach scoring position during the whole game.
Although only three games have been played the Mariners appear to be a team that could match or even surpass the excellence of last year’s Appalachian League champions with a combination of talent and chemistry.
“Our group here is a little older” said Mummau. “They all know what they’re doing which makes things easier on me. So far, they all seem to have gelled pretty well.”
The Mariners leave Pulaski for a six game road stand against Elizabethton and Bluefield before returning home for a Saturday showdown with the Princeton Rays.