Wild Pitches Prove Costly in Defeat to Braves

By Matt Trust, Pulaski Yankees

DANVILLE, Va. – The Pulaski Yankees rallied from two down for the second straight night, but a game-winning wild pitch lifted the Braves past the Yankees, 5-4, in 10 innings on Thursday. Everson Pereira extended his modest hitting streak to three games with a 2-for-5 performance. Carlos Espinal threw 3.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen for Pulaski. Three of Danville’s five runs came virtue of a wild pitch, including the walk-off play.

For the first time in the 2018 season, the opposition drew first blood against the Yankees. Nicholas Vizcaino launched the first home run of the season for either team after taking Jhonatan Munoz deep on a 1-1 hanging off-speed pitch with two outs. Next inning, the Braves doubled their lead after a Munoz wild pitch scored Justin Dean to make it 2-0 Danville.

Pulaski answered with two runs to draw even in the top half of the fourth inning, all with two outs. Saul Torres started the small rally with a two out double on a 2-2 pitch off Henry Quintero. Toress moved to third base on a wild pitch, and scored on Juan De Leon’s first career Appalachian League RBI single. The Yankees evened the score on the next at bat, when Jordan Scott lined an extra base hit to right field.

In the bottom half, Danville regained a two run advantage, taking the score to 4-2. The second wild pitch of the evening for Munoz again came with a runner 90 feet away, sending Michael Mateja to home plate. In the same at bat with two outs in the frame, Justin Dean bounced a come-backer up the middle of the diamond and into center field to score Carlos Baerga, Jr.Similar to the previous night, Pulaski rallied from a 4-2 hole to force extra innings. In the top of the ninth inning, the Yankees had the bases loaded with nobody out after three straight walks to start the frame dished out by Jacob Belinda. Daniel Barrios reached on a fielders choice to score Juan De Leon to pull Pulaski within one. Evan Alexander hit a sacrifice fly to knot the game at 4-4 with a second RBI in as many nights.

In extra innings, Danville once again proved opportunistic with a runner in scoring position to begin the half inning. After the Yankees did not cash in during the top half of the 10th inning, the Braves scored the winning run on Pulaski’s third wild pitch of the evening. With Henry Quintero batting, a wild pitch by Bryan Blanton scored Greg Cullen to end the game.

The Pulaski Yankees fall to 1-2 on the 2018 season and return home tomorrow, June 22, for their Home Opener against the Greeneville Reds at Motor Mile Field at Calfee Park. The first 1,000 fans receive a free magnet schedule courtesy of The Travis Team. First pitch is 7 p.m. and Calfee Park gates open at 5:30. Visit pulaskiyankees.net or call (540) 980-1070 for tickets.

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