Staten Island Yankees Recap: Kolton Mahoney Throws Seven Strong Innings In 6-2 Win Over Connecticut


With one week left in the regular season, every game is critical for the Staten Island Yankees in their quest to make the postseason in the New York-Penn League. Last night, in the second game of their three game series against the Connecticut Tigers, the Baby Bombers got a pair of home runs from Eduardo de Oleo and Junior Valera and got a good pitching performance from Kolton Mahoney in a 6-2 win .

Even though Staten Island did not gain any ground on the Hudson Valley Renegades in the standings, they are still tied for the McNamara division lead. In the first two games of this series, the Yanks have scored 16 runs and manager Pat Osborn talked about after the game about how they might be getting hot at the right time:

"“We are getting hot at the right time,” said Osborn. “I really can’t think of a time all year when we got really hot and went on a roll. Maybe this is the start of something special to close out this season. We got to have the mindset that we have unfinished business.”"

The Yankees got on the board first with three runs in the bottom of the third. Eduardo de Oleo led off the inning with a solo shot to right center off Tigers’ starter Sandy Baez (3-4, 4.15). de Oleo’s third home run of the season gave New York a 1-0 lead.

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Later in the inning, with runners on first and second, Ryan Krill hit a single to center that drove in Jeff Hendrix. Plus, a throwing error made by Jose Zambrano on a throw to third base allowed Trey Amburgey to score, which increased the lead to 3-0.

Staten Island would tack on two more runs in the fourth. The inning began when Junior Valera hit a solo shot to right center for his first home run of the season. As the inning continued, Zack Zehner hit a two-out single to center that drove in Kyle Holder to give Staten Island a 5-0 lead. Zehner, who was the leadoff hitter last night, went 4-for-5. Zehner and Hendrix have been a good 1-2 combo for Staten Island all year, but moving Hendrix down to second in the order, has made him more of an aggressive hitter, according to Osborn:

"“I really like using Zack there [leadoff spot] because it makes Jeff [Hendrix] more of an aggressive hitter. Since I put him [Jeff] in that two spot, he’s starting to swing the bat early in the count and driving pitches. Zack has been great all season. I like that 1-2 combination”, replied Osborn."

The Baby Bombers’ scoring would end in the bottom of the fifth against reliever Locke St. John. With runners at the corners and one out, Valera tacked on his second RBI of the game with a double down the left field line that drove in Amburgey. Those six runs would be plenty for Kolton Mahoney (3-2, 2.63), who had the best performance of his professional career.

Mahoney, who was the Yankees’ 16th round pick in this year’s draft out of BYU, went seven innings for the first time in his career, gave up one run on four hits, struck out six, and walked nobody on 81 pitches (53 strikes). Mahoney did give up a run in the top of the seventh when Tyler Servais hit a two-out single to center that drove in Steven Fuentes to cut the lead to 6-1, but that didn’t take away from Mahoney’s great performance.

"“It looked like he [Mahoney] had the zip back on his fastball,” said Osborn. “It looked like he had that finish on the fastball that we saw early on. He commands the ball on both sides of the plate. He’s another kid where I think he’s a steal in the draft, where he picked him.”"

While he went through a little bit of adversity in that seventh inning, Mahoney was able to battle through it and hold the Tigers to just one run. In his last four starts, he is 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA. Osborn also told us after the game about how grinding through that seventh inning might help Mahoney down the stretch:

"“He faced a little adversity. Anytime a guy can experience that and come out on top with his head up only builds for the future,” replied Osborn."

Connecticut would tack on one more run in the eighth inning against reliever Travis Hissong when Will Allen hit a base hit to center that drove in Pat Mackenzie. But, the Yankees stopped the scoring there thanks to a good defensive play by Holder at short, which started an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Hissong would finish the final two innings to get his first save of the year.

Next Game: The Staten Island Yankees (36-32) will go for the sweep of the Connecticut Tigers (31-34) tonight at Richmond County Bank Ballpark in St. George. Tyler Alexander (0-2, 2.79) gets the start for the Tigers against a starter yet to be announced for Staten Island. You can catch the game on MILB.TV at 7:05 PM ET.

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