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River Riders complete first sweep of the season… Mario Zabala Launched His First Home Run of the Season

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The River Riders defeated the Ridge Runners on Sunday 7-2 at Northeast Community Credit Union in 7-innings. Centerfielder Mario Zabala (Florida International) capped off a five-run sixth inning with a three-run homer.

The River Riders (4-5) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a ground ball to center field by left fielder DJ Sullivan (Florence-Darlington Tech) to score second baseman Marcus Brown (OSU) and Zabala.

Starting pitcher RHP Gehrig Mosiello (TCU) and relievers RHP Dalton Buckingham (Sewanee) and RHP Nathan Williams (Florence Darlington) combined for four scoreless innings with six strikeouts and three hits.

The Bluefield Ridge Runners (4-4) mounted a comeback in the top of the fifth and sixth innings. I

n the fifth, centerfielder Michael Eze (Georgetown) singled to score second baseman Michael Seegers (Iowa). In the sixth, first baseman Joshuan Sandoval (MidAmerica Nazarene) doubled to left field to tie the game 2-2.

In the bottom of the sixth, E-Town exploded for five runs and sent 11 River Riders to the plate. Catcher Knox Preston (Wabash Valley) led off the inning with his first hit of the season after being sidelined a week with a chipped bone in his left hand.

Shortstop John Montes (UCF) forced a throwing error on RHP Jackson Zalasky with a bunt on the third-base side, placing runners on second and third with no outs. Designated hitter Robert Bavon (OSU) singled to score Knox and Montes to give the River Riders a 4-2 lead.

Bavon has had two hits this season, a triple against the Greeneville Flyboys opening day and against Bluefield. Both came with runners on second and third and resulted in a River Riders’ lead.

Right fielder Logan Sanders (Pima) singled to increase his hit streak to six games. Zabala, with one out, launched his first home run of the season to left-center field to score three and give the River Riders their seventh and final run.

The River Riders have an off day Monday before going to Kingsport on Tuesday to start a two-game series against the Axemen.

Fans can listen to all River Riders games by going to

https://www.mlb.com/appalachian-league/elizabethton/fans/audio-listen-live.