BRISTOL, Va. – Reid Anderson got a no decision on Wednesday night for the Pulaski Yankees, but there is no doubt he is one of the Appalachian League’s elite talents.
The top pitcher on the top team crafted 6 1/3 superb innings to highlight Pulaski’s 6-2 victory over the Bristol Pirates at DeVault Stadium.
Anderson allowed just three hits, got seven groundball outs, walked two and struck out three in another quality outing.
“He was able to have movement on most of his pitches,” said Bristol catcher Marshall Gilbert. “At the beginning I think he was throwing 75 percent offspeed pitches for strikes. That kind of kept us off balance because we’re really aggressive with fastballs and pitches in general.”
Anderson carried a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning, but was lifted after issuing a one-out walk to Francisco Acuna.
Jean Eusebio of the BriBucs greeted reliever Kevin Milam with a high flyball that was lost in the lights by Yankees right fielder Ryder Green and resulted in a RBI triple.
Bristol tied it up one batter later as Gilbert poked a RBI single up the middle.
The deadlock didn’t last long.
Madison Santos and Roberto Chirinos homered in the eighth inning off Bristol relief pitcher Ryan Troutman (1-3, 6.43 ERA) to put the Yankees ahead to stay.
“We’re pretty relentless,” Anderson said. “We just do all the small things right and we hit the longball pretty well too. It’s nice as a pitcher to know that they are going to score some runs behind you.”
Anderson is 6-1 with a 3.09 ERA in 11 games (six starts) and has struck out 51 batters and issued just 17 walks in 46 2/3 innings. Opponents are hitting just .214 against the right-hander who was an unheralded 40th-round pick by the New York Yankees in the 2018 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft out of Brown University.
The kid with the Ivy League pedigree is one of the many reasons Pulaski has the Appalachian League’s best record at 40-21.
“I’ve been commanding the ball better than I did in college,” Anderson said. “I’ve just been trusting my stuff a little more than I usually do, letting the defense play behind me and have been on the same page as my catcher.”
Gilbert, Eusebio and Matt Morrow had two hits apiece for Bristol (30-30), which remained in second place in the Appy League’s West Division.
Johnson City (32-29) holds the top spot, while Kingsport (30-31) and Elizabethton (28-32) are giving chase as well. The top two teams in the division earn playoff bids.
The Pirates are not putting any pressure on themselves with seven games left on the schedule.
“We’re very loose right now,” Gilbert said. “That’s been paying off tremendously for us and I think it’s been the key. We’re just out there playing every day.”
NOTES: A crowd of 350 watched the game. … Bristol starting pitcher Luis Ortiz yielded just one run on three hits over five solid innings. …Kevin Milam (1-0, 3.00 ERA) got the win in relief of Anderson. … Along with his eighth-inning homer, Madison Santos added a two-run triple in the ninth inning for the Yankees. … Pulaski outfielder Ryder Green, a former star at Karns High School in Tennessee, went 0-for-4. … Local professional wrestler Nate Diamond threw out the ceremonial first pitch. He will compete on a show in Lebanon, Virginia, on Saturday. … Bristol hosts Pulaski again today at 6:30 p.m.
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