Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

July 12, 2012

Extra inning disappointment

Pulaski slips past Blue Jays

PULASKI, Va. — At this rate the Bluefield Blue Jays are going to be a team full of broken hearts.

 For the fourth time in 12 days, the Blue Jays led with two out and two strikes in the other team’s final at-bat and came home a loser.

 “They have been heartbreakers,” Bluefield manager Dennis Holmberg said. “They have all been one strike or two strikes away.”

 Felipe Burin blooped a bases-loaded two-run single in the bottom of the 10th inning to lead the Pulaski Mariners to a 5-4 Appalachian League win over the Blue Jays in front of 726 spectators at Calfee Park on a sometimes rainy Thursday night.

 Bluefield (8-13) rallied for two runs in the eighth to tie the score at 3-3, and took a 4-3 lead in the top of the 10th, but the Mariners scored two runs in the bottom of the frame off Wil Browning, who just arrived in town earlier in the day, to pull out the win and improve to 11-11.

 The clubs will meet again tonight at Calfee Park at 7 p.m.

 Bluefield, which was no-hit through five innings by Rigoberto Garcia, was able to tie the score at 3 in the eighth. Matt Dean had the Blue Jays’ first hit leading off the sixth, a solid single to center field. He moved to third on a single by Dwight Smith Jr. and scored on a single from Jorge Vega-Rosado.

 “We have been there before. You don’t want to play just a four or five inning ball game,” Holmberg said. “You have to play the first five and we didn’t get a hit until around the sixth inning, but certainly a tough loss.

 “We have been there before, but we have got to come out here tomorrow and put out it on.”

  Two more runs crossed in the eighth when Nico Taylor drew a one-out walk against Isliexel Gonzalez and Smith, Jr. followed with a double to the center field fence. Taylor scored on a passed ball by Tyler Marette and Smith followed him when Martin Pequero couldn’t handle a two-out ground ball near second base.

  Bluefield took its lone lead of the game in the 10th when Dean singled, moved up on another double by Smith and scored on a short fly ball to center field by Santiago Nessy.

 “Sometimes that one or two runs we shoulda, coulda had earlier can make a difference in the ball game late,” Holmberg said.

 Browning had arrived from the Gulf Coast League earlier in the day, and was beckoned into the game by Holmberg. He promptly threw seven straight balls, walking Reggie Lawson before Dario Pizzano reached a shot up the middle that stopped from going to center field by a diving Vega-Rosado. Marlette tried to bunt the runners over, but first baseman Art Charles was able to get the force at third.

 “The leadoff walk in the 10th inning, you don’t want to put that guy on. If you get that guy out then you are in good shape,” Holmberg said. “That was four pitches and that was Browning’s first outing of the year for us.

 “He just joined us from the Gulf Coast League, a little bit of a tough situation, but he has been in those situations down there. That is the way the cookie crumbles.”

 Browning plunked Jordy Lara with a pitch on a two-strike count and then struck out Peguero.

  “He was a strike away from making a good pitch, he got a big strikeout there, but it is a tough game,” Holmberg said. “They are all learning lessons.”

 Burin came off the bench and promptly blooped a single to center field that scored Pizzano and pinch-runner Phillips Castillo, who had replaced Lara on the bases.

  “I don’t know if you could hit a ball any softer, just beyond the outreach of the infielders and just in front of the center fielder,” Holmberg said. “You can’t defend the whole field, but it was a tough loss, a tough loss.”

 Pulaski took a 2-0 lead in the third when Gilmer Lampe singled, Richard Palase followed with a walk and Lampe scored on a passed ball and Brock Hebert singled in Palase. There were four passed balls in the game, three by Nessy.

 Garcia, who was hit on the foot by a line drive to start the game by Smith, was able to recover, walking Vega-Rosada who followed Smith and then retired the next 14 batters he faced.

 Bluefield was able to narrow the margin to one in the sixth on the single by Vega-Rosado, but Pizzano slugged a shot over the 405 sign in center field in the sixth to increase the lead to 3-1.

 Pizzano led Pulaski with two hits, including a home run, and scored two runs. Bluefield was paced by Smith, who had three hits, including pair of doubles, while Dean added a pair of singles and scored two runs.

 Bluefield will try to get back on the winning track in the last of three games in Pulaski.   

 “It is still early in the season,” Holmberg said. “It is still early and we are going to try and learn from our mistakes and try not to put ourselves in those positions where we lose a tough ball game like that.”

—Contact Brian Woodson

at bwoodson@bdtonline.com  

At Calfee Park

Bluefield…...…000  001  020  1  —   4  6  1

Pulaski.……….002 001  000  2  —  5  8  1

Kevin Comer, Roberto Osuna (5), Brandon Dorsett (9), Wil Browning (10) and Santiago Nessy. Rigoberto Garcia, Isliexel Gonzalez (6), Matthew Brazis (8), David Holman (10) and Tyler Marlette. W—Holman (1-2); L—Browning (0-1). HR—Dario Pizzano (2) 6th, 0 on. Time—3:02. Att—726. 

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