River Riders hang on after Doughboys rally | Sports
ELIZABETHTON – The Johnson City Doughboys scared the Elizabethton River Riders on Tuesday night. However, their big five-point rally in the eighth inning wasn’t enough after they fell behind early.
Elizabethton held on for a 6-5 victory in Appalachian League baseball action at the Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark.
Elizabethton pitchers Drew Gillespie, Jordan Leasure, Gehrig Mosiello and Nathan Williams combined to strike out 16 batters.
The River Riders appeared to be heading for an easy win before Johnson City caught fire in the eighth, including Joe Vetrano’s grand slam over the left-field wall.
Jaxson Crull led the seventh inning with a double, but Williams struck out the next three batters to end the threat and the game. The River Riders improved to 12-10, while the Doughboys fell to 8-13-1, last place in the Western Appalachian League standings.
Leasure was credited with the win and Williams with the stoppage.
SUMMARY OF POINTS
Hits and runs were hard to come by in the first five innings. Sam Thompson of the River Riders scored in right field to score Marcus Brown for the game’s first point late in the fourth inning.
Elizabethton scored three more runs in the sixth inning. Brown scored his second point on a Johnson City error, followed by DJ Sullivan’s RBI and a brace from Knox Preston.
The River Riders extended their lead to 6-0 in the seventh. Brown had an RBI single and Mario Zabala scored on another JC error.
Johnson City came to life in the eighth. Damani Thomas doubled up, then Cade Sumbler scored on wild ground for the Doughboys’ first round. Chyran Cruse and Steven Ondina took back-to-back walks, setting the stage for Vetrano’s crushing blow.
Brown was 3 for 3 with the RBI and a pair of runs scored to lead Elizabethton offensively. Vetrano was the only Johnson City player with multiple hits, passing 2 for 4.
Johnson City pitchers Steven Casey, Miguel Fulgencio, Seth Willis and Gianluca Shinn combined for a dozen strikeouts. Casey, who struck out six and allowed one run and two hits, was lost.