Great pitching and timely hitting was the story throughout the game. Luke Taylor started the game on the mound for the Mariners, giving his best performance of the year. He went six full innings, allowing four hits, two runs, and struck out four. The Mariners ended the series with a 15-18 record.
The Bluefield Blue Jays struck first in the game on a two-run homer by Kevin Pillar to give them the lead 2-0 in the second inning. The Mariners would draw closer in the fourth with Daniel Paolini’s third home run of the year. The solo bomb brought the Blue Jays lead down to one heading into the fifth.
Great pitching from the bullpens kept both teams off the board until the bottom of the ninth. Jean Acevedo started the inning off with a lead-off ground-rule double that ended up stuck between parts of the wall in right field. After Acevedo was lifted for pinch runner Bryan Brito, Alfredo Morales laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt that would advance Brito to third. Daniel Paolini stayed hot at the plate, delivering an RBI single to tie the game at two-all and send it into extra innings.
John Taylor entered the game for Pulaski on the mound in the 10th inning. Taylor shut down the middle of Bluefield’s line up for a one-two-three inning to give Pulaski a chance to take the series in the bottom half.
Dillon Hazlett started the inning off with a lead-off double down the third base line to swing the odds in the Mariners’ favor. After Jamal Austin grounded out, Guillermo Pimentel was issued an intentional walk to put runners on first and second with one out in the inning. With the crowd on their feet, Bryan Brito blasted a pitch off the right field wall that would score Hazlett from second and win the series for the Mariners.
Taylor (2-0) picked up the win for the Mariners while Ian Kadish (2-3) was tagged with the loss. The Pulaski Mariners will return home July 30th to take on the Burlington Royals.
Blue Jays 10, Mariners 3
Pulaski fell victim to the big inning Friday as Bluefield claimed a 10-3 victory at Calfee Park.
The Blue Jays’ first round draft pick of a year ago, Noah Syndergaard, was in complete control throughout the game, allowing no runs over his five innings of work. He struck out four and lowered his ERA to 1.33 for the season.
The Blue Jays opened the game scoring one run each in the first two innings for a 2-0 lead. It wasn’t until the fifth inning when they blew the game open, scoring four times. Bluefield would take the overwhelming lead in the sixth, scoring twice on a throwing error to push their lead to 8-0.
The Mariners only runs in the game came late, scoring once in the bottom of the sixth inning on an RBI single from Alfredo Morales, and scoring twice in the seventh on Efrain Nunez’s fifth homer of the year. The Blue Jays went on to score two insurance runs in the ninth inning and won the game 10-3.
Pulaski 5, Blue Jays 4
The Pulaski Mariners picked up their second consecutive win Thursday night against the Bluefield Blue Jays, winning in walk-off fashion. Both teams swapped the lead a few times throughout the game, but the Mariners got the last laugh with timely hitting as they went on the win the game 5-4.
The Blue Jays took the early lead in the second inning. After Leo Hernandez reached on an error, Chris Hawkins belted his fourth home run of the season. The two-run shot put Bluefield up 2-0 after two.
Hawkins would double in his third RBI of the night in the fourth inning to boost the Blue Jays’ lead to three. Alfredo Morales got the offense kick started for the Mariners in the fourth inning with his first home run of the season as a Mariner. Jordy Lara would follow with a walk, and would later come around to score on an RBI double by Daniel Paolini to make the score 3-2.
With the score 4-2 in the Blue Jays favor going into the bottom of the eighth inning, the Mariners would start a rally in the inning and comeback to tied the game at four runs apiece. Jamal Austin doubled to start the inning off for Pulaski. After a fly out by Guillermo Pimentel, Jean Acevedo delivered an RBI single that would score Austin to bring the Blue Jays lead down to one. Acevedo would advance on an error by the centerfielder and a wild pitch to put him on third base with one out in the eighth inning. He would score the game tying run on a sacrifice fly by Jordy Lara to tie the game at 4-all going into the ninth.
Kyle Hunter, who came in the game in the sixth inning, got the first out of the ninth inning for the Mariners and was then relieved by John Taylor. Taylor faced three batters, gave up one hit, and struck out the final batter in the inning to keep the score tied at four going into the bottom of the ninth.
The first two batters for the Mariners were shut down quickly, leaving the hometown fans wondering if late-game heroics were in the cards. Bryan Brito hit a double to right field to put a runner in scoring position for the Mariners with two out. Jamal Austin then blasted a shot over the right fielder’s head that would score Brito from second and win the game for the Mariners.
Mariners 5, Braves 3
The Pulaski Mariners got back on track July 20 with a 5-3 win over the Danville Braves at Calfee Park. Great pitching and power hitting produced a solid game for the Mariners as they avoided the sweep.
Dylan Unsworth started the game on the mound for Pulaski and gave the team a solid effort. The only two mistakes he made all night resulted in two solo home runs by Nick Ahmed and Brandon Drury.
The Mariners started the game with an early lead after the first inning. Dillon Hazlett nailed a single for the game's first hit. After a stolen base and an error advanced him to third, he would go ahead to score the first run on a wild pitch.
The big inning came in the fourth for the Mariners. With the score tied at one run a piece, Pulaski added four runs in the inning to extend their lead to 5-1. After Jordy Lara was hit by a pitch, Efrain Nunez got the wheels turning in the inning when he blasted his fourth homer of the season. The two-run homer was quickly followed by another two-run bomb by Jose Hernandez, his third of the season. The Braves would add one run in both the sixth and seventh innings, but it wouldn’t be enough as the Mariners held on for the win.
Unsworth (4-1) earned the win on the mound for the Mariners, going 6.1 innings. He allowed three runs on six hits and walked only one. Angel Raga was credited with his seventh save of the season, giving up no runs through the final 2.2 innings.
Braves 10, Mariners 2
Another tough night was in store for Pulaski July 19 at Calfee Park. The Danville Braves struck early and often, scoring runs in every inning except two on their way to a 10-2 victory.
The first two runs of the game were scored by the Braves in the top of the first inning without a hit being recorded. Nick Ahmed and Kyle Kubitza started the game off for Danville with a pair of walks. After Brandon Drury was hit by a pitch to load the bases, an RBI groundout by William Beckwith and a sacrifice fly by Sam Munson gave the Braves the early lead. The Mariners would answer with one run in the bottom of the inning to make the score 2-1.
Unfortunately for the Mariners, the Braves' bats were just getting heated up as they put two more runs on the board in the second inning on a two-run single from Kyle Kubitza.
The Mariners only other run in the game came in the sixth inning when Hassiel Jimenez reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Jean Acevedo.
The Braves would tack on three big insurance runs in the seventh inning that put the game completely out of reach. With the bases loaded and two men out, Brandon Drury singled to left field to score Ryan Query. The bases were still loaded for William Beckwith and he proved clutch, delivering a two-run single to left field that pushed the lead to 9-2. The Braves would score one more run in the ninth and come away with the 10-2 victory.
Braves 8, Mariners 6
The Pulaski Mariners returned home July 18 to take on the Danville Braves. It was a unique night at Calfee Park with 18 walks and 29 strikeouts being issued throughout the contest. The Mariners took the lead early in the game, but couldn’t hold off the Braves in the ladder half of the game that ended in an 8-6 victory for Danville.
The Braves took the lead in the first inning on an RBI double by Brandon Drury, followed by a two-run double by cleanup hitter William Beckwith to make the score 3-0 early.
The Mariners would come back to take the lead in the second inning scoring, five runs on three hits. Dillion Hazlett started the scoring off for the Mariners in the inning, drawing a bases-loaded walk. That was then followed by RBI singles by Jean Acevedo and Guillermo Pimentel to slide the lead in Pulaski’s favor 6-3 entering the third inning. Strong pitching from the Braves bullpen held the Mariners to just one hit for the remainder of the game.
The Braves tied the game in the eighth inning on a solo home run by Brandon Drury. They went on to win the game in the top of the ninth scoring two runs on a single by Kurt Fleming.