- Gainesville, FL. Written By: Kyrin Mayfield
It’s below 70 degrees in mid-March in Florida? Are we sure it’s baseball season?
Yes, of course it is, and nobody knows it more than the P.K. Yonge Blue Wave and Eastside Rams.
Both were preparing for Tuesday night’s inner-city matchup. With 1-4 records, both teams were hoping to turn their seasons around with a much-needed win.
The Blue Wave were looking to avoid their first five-game losing streak since 2016. It’s been a difficult transition period for them. After going 19-9 last year, only two of the eight batters who hit over .300 returned as well as a returning pitching staff that was responsible for only three of their 19 wins.
P.K. Yonge won the last seven contests against Eastside, claiming both games last year 25-14 and 10-0. The Blue Wave had eight stolen bases in the 10-0 win. Danny Dawson picked up two RBI’s and was looking for a repeat this time around.
The scoring started quickly in the top of the first when Blue Wave leadoff hitter Nate Nicholson got on base and later scored on a sac-fly to give P.K. Yonge the lead, 1-0. However, it would not last long as Eastside had the same idea. Joe Ukeiley scored on a sac-fly as well from Tyler Brian, tying the game at 1-1 through one inning.
The runs continued in the top of the second. Three scored for the Blue Wave thanks to two hits and five stolen bases. 4-1 lead for P.K. Yonge after two.
Another run came across in the third, putting the Blue Wave up 5-1 just before the flood gates opened.
The first three Blue Wave batters came around to score in the top of the fourth. Nine of the first ten batters reached base in the inning from four hits, four walks and an error. Two more came around to give P.K. Yonge a 10-1 lead.
Things stayed quiet for the next two and a half innings despite five combined hits between the two teams.
The Blue Wave increased their lead in the top of the seventh. Despite the first two batters being retired, Kyrin Griffith was walked and Nicholson followed with a single to right field. Both came in to score on an error by Eastside in the following at bat, increasing the lead to 12-1.
The Rams never gave up, and P.K. Yonge starting pitcher Isaiah Malone got into some trouble for the first time, all game. Dilla Mora led off with a walk, the third straight inning where their lead-off batter reached base.
Joshua Williams-Caldwell followed with a single up the middle. Ukeiley was then walked to load the bases, and chased Malone from the game. The starter would’ve finished with one earned run before allowing the first three batters to reach base.
Tyler Bryan was walked to score Mora. Alex Dang followed with a sacrifice fly to left to score Williams-Caldwell. Ukeiley also came home later in the inning, but that’s where the rally ended. P.K. Yonge won 12-4.
Malone picked up the win with six innings pitched, seven hits, three earned runs, three walks and five strikeouts. Nicholson went 4-for-5 with three runs, two RBIs and three stolen bases. Griffith went 1-for-2 with three runs and two stolen bases. The Blue Wave had 12 stolen bases.
Ukeiley was 1-for-3 with two runs for Eastside. Mora had a run and was 2-for-2.
P.K. Yonge (2-4) play at Newberry on Thursday. Eastside (1-5) will have another inter-city game on Friday, this time against Gainesville.