On Monday morning, the Staten Island Yankees (24-27) were one out away from taking the series against the Auburn Doubledays (23-27) at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark in St. George. David Palladino (4-4, 4.50) was trying to get the win in his second relief appearance of the year, but Auburn designated hitter Jeff Gardner hit a solo home run to right field that tied the game. In the top of the tenth inning, right fielder Clay Williamson would get a RBI single off of reliever Matt Wotherspoon to give the Doubledays the 7-6 win. For the Baby Bombers, it is the fourth consecutive series lost and they are now three games back of the Cyclones in the Wild Card race.
Staten Island sent Ty Hensley to the mound in the series finale. It was the second start on the season for the first round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. The first inning was rocky for Hensley as he gave up a pair of runs on a two-out RBI single by D.K. Carey that would score Chris Riopedre. Gardner would also come around to score on a Collin Slaybaugh error in center field during the play to make it 2-0.
The Baby Bombers would answer those two runs quickly in the bottom of the inning against Doubledays’ starter Travis Ott (1-2, 3.20). With Slaybaugh on first and two outs, Isaias Tejeda would hit a ball to left field that barely cleared the fence, but it was a two-run homer nonetheless that tied the game at two. For Tejeda, it was his fourth home run of the season, which ties Renzo Martini for the team lead.
Staten Island was very selective at the plate against Ott with nine of the first 18 at-bats against him going five pitches or more. The team as a whole had nine walks in the game, five coming against Ott.
“He [Ott] was tough. He was scattered, but in the zone,” said manager Mario Garza. “It’s tough to have an approach, but I think we did a good job of battling.”
Hensley’s third run allowed would come in the third inning when Auburn re-took the lead on a RBI single to left field by Austin Davidson that scored Riopedre, making it 3-2. The final line on Hensley was three innings pitched, three runs (two earned runs) on four hits, three strikeouts and one walk. The Baby Bombers would again tie the game at three in the bottom of the fourth on a infield single by Slaybaugh with the bases loaded, extending the center fielder’s hitting streak to eight games.
The 15th Round Pick in this year’s draft, Andrew Chin , would enter the game in the fourth inning and throw two innings of one hit ball, facing just seven batters. With Palladino in the game for the sixth inning, Auburn exploded with four hits (all single). RBI singles by Cody Gunter and Matthew Page would make it 5-3 Auburn. But, Staten Island would come back with one in the sixth on a Slaybaugh infield single and in the seventh via a bases loaded walk from Martini that tied the game at five. It was one of three walks in the inning.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Tejeda would come thru in the clutch once again, taking a 1-2 pitch from Mario Sanchez (4-0, 2.49) to left field that hit off the walk. The double for Tejeda would score Jose Javier and give Staten Island a 6-5 lead.
“He’s a guy we love having in there. He’s a competitor,” remarked Garza on Tejeda. “We talk about competing and winning every pitch. From an offensive and defensive standpoint, he works as hard as anybody we have to do that.”
While Palladino pitched a solid 4.1 innings and four strikeouts out of the bullpen, he ultimately gave up four runs on seven hits, including the two-out homer in the ninth that tied the ball game. In the tenth, Auburn would get a one-out single from Page, who would be pinch-ran for by Willie Medina. After Medina stole second, Williamson would come up with the big hit against Weatherspoon to win the game and the series for the Doubledays.
After a day off today, the Baby Bombers will begin a six-game road trip on Wednesday night at 7:05 PM ET against the Batavia Muckdogs. It was also announced after the game that second baseman Jake Anderson was sent down to the Gulf Coast League while reliever Conor Mullee (2-1, 2.01) was promoted to the Class-A Charleston Riverdogs.