PRINCETON, W.Va. – Princeton’s Blair eck doubled home Jamie Mitchell in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Princeton Rays (14-9) edged the Pulaski Yankees (15-10), 1-0, before 1,014 fans at Hunnicutt Field Saturday night.
The result left the two teams in a virtual tie for first place in the Appalachian Conference East with Princeton ahead by percentage points. It also overshadowed an excellent pitching performance by Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes, who suffered his first loss despite allowing just four hits and an unearned run in 6.1 innings. He struck out six and walked just one and has an ERA of 0.92 and has compiled a strikeout/walk ratio of 30-2.
The 20-year-old native of Hialeah, Fla., was a 36th-round draft pick by the Yankees in 2013 and pitched in the Gulf Coast League the past two years. He has allowed three earned runs in 29.1 innings.
Offensively, first baseman Kane Sweeney remained hot, knocking out a pair of doubles, boosting his average to .293.
The teams will play Game 2 of the series at 5 p.m. Sunday at Hunnicutt Field with first place on the line.