Washington, PA—The Empire State Greys (8-22) have defeated the Washington Wild Things (13-18) 8-4 behind a strong outing by Michael Barker.
Empire State got its offense going early. In the top of the 3rd the Greys struck for 4 runs off of Wild Things starter Robert Gonzalez (L, 0-1). Eric Jenkins drove in the first run of the game with a triple to left center field. The next batter, Quentin Holmes, promptly drove in Jenkins with a single to center field. Josh Sears capped off the inning with a sharp 2 RBI single to left center field.
The Greys got to Gonzalez again in the 4th. With the bases loaded, Quentin Holmes drove in a run on a fielder’s choice to short stop. The out was made at second, but Holmes was too quick and beat the throw to first. For the second time in the inning the bases were loaded for the Greys, this time for Cristopher Cespedes. Cespedes lined a base hit up the middle for a 2 RBI single and in doing so gave Empire State a 7-0 lead.
In the 6th, the Greys added on an insurance run to make it 8-0 before Washington got their first bit of offense in the game. In the bottom half of the inning, Melvin Novoa drove in the first run of the game for the Wild Things with a ground rule double off of Greys starter Michael Barker (W, 2-2). Washington then scored two more runs on a balk and Wagner Lagrange sac fly cutting the deficit to 8-3.
Michael Barker’s outing came to a close following the 6th, but the south paw was remarkable for the Greys. He started off the game by retiring the first 12 Washington batters he saw. Along with this feat, he struck out five, allowed just 3 hits, and earned a quality start.
Washington struck again in the 7th, this time on a Greys error. The momentum that the Wild Things garnered was short lived as they did not score a run the rest of the night. Nick Trabacchi and Tanner Propst teamed up to throw scoreless 8th and 9th innings to secure the 8-4 victory.
Ryan Sandberg and the Greys will look to take the series tomorrow night in Washington at 7:05 EST.