For the Staten Island Yankees (19-17), it was the seventh inning that produced the offensive outburst that the Baby Bombers needed on Sunday. Trailing 3-2 to the Jamestown Jammers (15-20) heading into the bottom of the seventh, Staten Island put up a five-run inning to ultimately win the game by a final of 7-4. It was a game that saw catcher Luis Torrens and designated hitter Isaias Tejeda extend their hit streaks to 16 and 15 games, respectively. Staten Island now has won four of their last five games.
It was a rough start for the Baby Bombers, considering the team got down 2-0 in the top of the first inning when Jamestown right fielder Jordan Luplow hit a two-run home run off of the scoreboard in left field against Staten Island starter Matt Borens (0-1, 5.65). It was Luplow’s fourth home run of the season. The Yankees were able to get one run back in the bottom of the inning. With one out and runners on second and third, Tejeda hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Devyn Bolasky and cut the deficit to 2-1.
In the following inning, Jamestown’s two-out hitting resulted in another run against Borens. After a two-out double by second baseman Erik Lunde, shortstop Erik Forgione singled to left field to score Lunde, giving the Jammers a 3-1 lead. Those were all the runs that Borens, the 11th round pick in this year’s draft would allow. He went four innings, giving up three runs on four hits, struck out two and did not walk a batter in the no-decision.
Other than the Tejeda sacrifice fly, Staten Island could not get much going against Jamestown’s starter, Montana DuRapau. DuRapau (0-0, 1.67) went five innings, giving up just one run on four hits and struck out two batters. Once the bullpen came in for the Jammers, the offense found its spark. In the bottom of the sixth inning, after a Tejeda walk and a Connor Spencer single, shortstop Vicente Conde would hit into a fielder’s choice to score Tejeda, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
In the seventh inning, Staten Island came out with five straight hits to begin the inning, resulting in three runs. After a Bolasky single and stolen base against Julio Eusebio (0-1, 4.85), Luis Torrens extended his hit streak to 16 games with a RBI triple to center field that tied the game at 3. Ty McFarland would follow Torrens with a single to left field and give the Baby Bombers a 4-3 lead. Tejeda would make it 5-3 on a RBI double to left field, his fourth RBI in the last two games. Eusebio would end up taking the loss after giving up five runs (three earned runs) in 2/3 of an inning.
With his hit streak extended to 15 games, I asked the Staten Island catcher about what has been the difference for him this season as opposed to his last two seasons at Richmond County Bank Ballpark:
“Confidence within myself”, remarked Tejeda, who now has 11 doubles on the season.
The scoring would continue three batters later when right fielder Nathan Mikolas reached on an error by first baseman Kevin Ross that allowed Tejeda to score, making it 6-3. Third baseman Renzo Martini would cap the scoring with a RBI single to left field, increasing the lead to 7-3.
All these runs were scored in support of reliever Jordan Cote (1-2, 6.43), who pitched a great game in his second relief appearance of the year. Cote finished the last five innings of the game, allowed one run on five hits, and struck out three batters. That lone run was scored in the top of the eighth inning on a fielder’s choice by Jamestown shortstop, Elvis Escobar. Considering that the Yankees’ third-round pick in the 2011 draft had given up 15 earned runs in his last four outings, this first win could give Cote the confidence he needs.
“That was huge for Jordan”, said manager Mario Garza. “He’s been working so hard to just try and get over the hump and to start doing what we know he is capable of doing.”
Staten Island will go for the sweep of Jamestown and look to finish the homestand at 5-1 on Monday morning at 11:00 AM ET. Frank Duncan (1-1, 4.39) will get the start for Jamestown against a starter yet to be announced by Staten Island.
- Right fielder Nathan Mikolas had a pair of singles in Sunday’s win, giving him two multi-hit games in his last four appearances, extending his batting average from .195 to .213. I asked Garza after the game whether this is a sign of things to come for Mikolas:
“I hope that’s the case,” remarked Garza. “He’s a hard worker. We know his bat can play. He’s one of those guys, whether it’s in the middle or the bottom of the lineup that can help us on offense.”
- With a RBI in Sunday’s game, second baseman Ty McFarland now has a RBI in four of his last five games and seven hits over that stretch. Hitting coach Ty Hawkins told me after the game that the team’s leader in hits (37) has “come in with a real good swing” and a “good approach.”