PULASKI, Va. – Following a high-scoring affair in the season-opener, the pitchers enacted their revenge on Wednesday night. The Danville Braves (2-0) found just enough offense, in the form of a three-run third inning, to take game two from the Pulaski Yankees (0-2), 3-1.
For the second time in as many nights, the Braves scored first and hung a crooked number on the board in doing so.
Danville leadoff batter Stephen Gaylor, who scored three times in Tuesday’s opener, proved to be a catalyst once again. Gaylor started the third inning by reaching on a throwing error and later stole second base. Following a walk by second basemen Luke Dykstra, Ian Hagenmiller singled to score Gaylor.
Once again, the Yankees were shaky in the field. Pulaski starter Melvin Morla threw the ball away on a routine pickoff move for the second miscue of the frame, which allowed Dykstra to score and advanced Hagenmiller 90 feet from home. Hagenmiller concluded the scoring in the third when Ray Didder drove him in on a single.
Morla (0-1) grinded through four innings and allowed only the three runs. Ten batters reached base against the right-hander-five via the hit, two on walks, two on errors, and one batter was hit.
Danville’s pitching kept the Yankee bats off balance as the contest evolved into a pitchers’ affair.
Braves starter Trever Belicek worked three innings of one-hit ball-the lone hit being a third-inning single off the bat of Carlos Vidal. Additionally, Belicek walked one man and struck out two.
The Yankees picked up their lone run of the game in the fourth inning against Josh Graham. With one out, left fielder Nathan Mikolas reached first on a fielder error by Hagenmiller, who let the ball sneak through his legs. Following a lineout by Gosuke Katoh, Billy Fleming doubled into left field to score Mikolas.
Graham (1-0) pitched two full innings in relief of Belicek. He surrendered only two hits and was charged for one unearned run in his winning effort.
The Yankees managed only two more hits following the fourth-a fifth-inning single by Vidal and a single by Mikolas in the next frame.
The hard luck of Hoy Jun Park-the shortstop import from Seoul, South Korea-continued on Wednesday. Park continued to square up the ball but went 0-4 including a lineout to first base in the eighth inning.
William Gabay tossed three immaculate innings in relief of Morla. Three Yankee relievers-Gabay, Alex Robinett, and Corey Holmes-combined to throw five frames of two-hit ball.
Danville’s bullpen set down the final six Pulaski batters. Daniel Cordero struck out the final five batters to earn his first save of the year.
With the series already decided in the Braves’ favor, the two teams clash again Thursday night at Historic Calfee Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.