BURLINGTON, N.C. — The Pulaski Yankees’ bats remained anemic as they were held to three hits in dropping the first game of the three-game series in the divisional playoffs 6-0 to the Burlington Royals on Friday night at Burlington Athletic Stadium.
Angel Zerpa and ex-UVa Cavalier hurler Noah Murdock handcuffed the Yankee hitters, with Zerpa giving up two hits with seven strikeouts and one walk in five innings. Murdock allowed one hit with six strikeouts and no walks.
The Royals got on top in the third when Burle Dixon became the first Royal to reach base on a walk. Jack Gethings got the first hit of the game on a single to center. After a strikeout, Michael Massey launched a two-out, three-run homer to right that just made it inside the foul pole.
Pulaski threatened in the fourth when Chad Bell got the Yankees’ first hit, an infield single. Bell stole second but Saul Torres struck out to end the inning .
In the fifth, Antonio Cabello reached second on a single and an error, but Jesus Bastidas struck out for another empty inning.
The Yankees missed another scoring opportunity in the sixth.
With one out, Roberto Chirinos advanced to second on a throwing error following a ground ball and later reached third on a passed ball. Ryder Green struck out and Bell lined out to short.
Burlington added two runs in the sixth. Diego Hernandez reached on a Bell fielding error, stole second and third and was safe at the plate on a ground ball by Maikel Garcia. Garcia stole second and scored on a Vinnie Pasquantino single off of the first base umpire’s leg.
Hernandez led off the eighth with a triple and scored on a Mitch Spence wild pitch to make it 6-0.
Reid Anderson was saddled with the loss, throwing 5 1/3 innings and giving up five runs off of two hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Spence threw 2 2/3 innings in relief, allowing one run on three hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
ON DECK: Game 2 of the series moves to Calfee Park with the first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m. Saturday.