Royals Win in 17 - Championship Bound
It took 17 innings, but the result means the Burlington Royals have more baseball to play.
The Royals won 5-4 in the decisive Game 3 against the Pulaski Yankees in the Appalachian League semifinal series Sunday night at Calfee Park.
It took a comeback from a four-run deficit and a remarkable effort from the bullpen to pull it out.
Kevon Jackson's two-out single provided the winning run.
Vinnie Pasquantino's third hit of the game came on a bunt to lead off the 17th. Pinch runner Jay Charleston advanced to third base on a errant pick-off attempt by Kenlly Montas, After Jake Means lined out and Will Hancock struck out, the Yankees turned to pitcher Kevin Milam. He yielded Jackson's single on a 2-2 pitch.
During the regular season, Jackson had 13 RBI and a team-low .154 batting average among players with regular playing time. He entered Game 3 as a pinch runner.
Burlington meets the Johnson City Cardinals in the best-of-3 finals beginning Monday night at Johnson City, Tenn. Game 2 is Tuesday night in Burlington, with Game 3, if necessary, on Wednesday night also in Burlington.
The finals would have been set to begin after an off day following the semifinals. However, the league announced a schedule change late Saturday night, eliminating the off day because of the potential impact from Hurricane Dorian.
Johnson City won 7-5 against the Bristol Pirates in Game 3 of that semifinal series Sunday night.
The Royals stranded 15 runners. Before Jackson's hit, they went 1-for-21 with runners in scoring position.
Five Burlington relievers held the Yankees without a run for 14 consecutive innings. That group of pitchers included Marlin Willis, Elliott Anderson, Jonah Dipoto, Donavin Buck and Patrick Smith.
Dipoto and Smith matched season highs with three innings and Buck set a season high with three innings.
Pulaski led 4-0 after three innings. The first three runs came off Devin Capellan before Willis gave up one run across five innings.
The Royals rallied, scoring one run in the sixth on Mikey Filia's groundout and then three in the eighth.
Those eighth-inning runs came on a passed ball, Filia's single and Jack Gethings' sacrifice fly.
In the top of the 14th, Burlington's Maikel Garcia led off with a double and moved to third on an outfield error. Then there was a groundout and an intentional walk to Pasquantino before Jake Means grounded into a double play.
Pulaski had a runner at second base with no outs in the 11th.
Michael Massey had three hits for the Royals.
The series began with a pair of 6-0 results, with Burlington winning Friday night at home and Pulaski matching it the next night at home.
Pulaski won the East Division regular season, with Burlington second.
Championship Series tickets are on sale now by calling 336-222-0223 or by going by the Royals ticket office.
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Appalachian League Stories from September 2, 2019
- Royals Roll in Game 1 of Appalachian League Finals - Burlington Royals
- Royals Win in 17 - Championship Bound - Burlington Royals
- Bristol Pirates See Season End in Game Three - Bristol Pirates
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