STATEN ISLAND, NY – The Staten Island Yankees made use of 8 hits and 3 errors by the Vermont Lake Monsters in route to a 10-8 victory to complete the series sweep. With the win and an Aberdeen loss the Yankees find themselves a game and a half up on the Aberdeen Ironbirds and Hudson Valley Renegades in first place of the McNamara Division heading into the NY-Penn League All-Star Break.
New York Yankees 2015 second round pick Jeff Degano got the start for Staten Island, making his first start for the Baby Bombers after 6 games in the Gulf Coast League. Degano allowed 2 earned runs on a walk and 4 hits over 2 1/3 innings of work, striking out 2 of the 13 batters he faced. He was followed by Yoel Espinal who pitched 2/3 of an inning and pitched to 1 batter in the fourth before being pulled. Espinal allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk.
The Yankees struck first in the game, playing a run in the bottom of the first inning. Jeff Hendrix lined a double to left to start the game, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground out by Thairo Estrada. After Vermont tied it up in the top of the second Staten Island would regain the lead thanks to a 3 run bottom of the inning. Brandon Wagner started it off with a homerun to right field. Drew Bridges then reached on a fielding error, ending up at second base on the play. A ground out moved Bridges over to third before Jeff Hendrix walked to put runners at the corners. Zack Zehner then cleared the bases on a 2-RBI triple to right field.
Vermont plated 2 runs in the third and a run in the fourth to tie the game but it did not last long as Staten Island exploded for 5 runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Eduardo de Oleo lined a homerun to left to open up the scoring and lead off the inning. Jeff Hendrix was hit by the pitch, stole second. Zack Zehner then walked to put 2 men on for Thairo Estrada. Estrada singled on a fly ball to left to bring home Hendrix and move Zehner to second. Kevin Cornelius walked to load the bases, bringing up Trey Amburgey who lined a single to right and played Zehner and Estrada while Cornelius moved to third. Cornelius came home to score when Brandon Wagner grounded into a force out at second to give the Yankees a 9-4 lead.
Jose Mesa Jr came into the game in the fourth inning and pitched 2 shutout innings allowing 2 hits and a walk, striking out 4 batters. His performance earned him the victory and lowered his season ERA to 0.42. He was followed by Will Carter who allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and walk in 1 inning and 2/3 of work. Michael Schaub then came into the game for an inning and 1/3 allowing 2 hits and striking out 1.
The Baby Bombers got an important insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Thairo Estrada started it off with a walk, moved to third after a throwing error on a pickoff attempt and scored on a sacrifice fly by Trey Amburgey.
Travis Hissong pitched the ninth inning and was touched for 2 runs on 3 hits to earn the save.
With the win the Staten Island Yankees head into the NY-Penn League All-Star Break with a 1 ½ game lead over the second place Aberdeen Ironbirds and Hudson Valley Renegades. Four Yankees are on the NY-Penn League South Team they include outfielders Jhalan Jackson, Junior Valera, shortstop Thairo Estrada and pitcher Luis Cedeno. Jackson was recently placed on the disabled list and will not play while Valera is day-to-day with shin splints, he will likely not play either.