River Riders skim past Doughboys
BY ANDREW SMITH
The Elizabethton River Riders (12-10) returned to a picture-esque Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark Tuesday night after a six-game road trip and were able to begin their four-game homestand with a 6-5 victory over the Johnson City Doughboys (8-13-1).
The game was a pitchers’ duel early on, as Johnson City’s Steven Casey and Elizabethton’s Drew Gillespie matched zeros in the run column through the first three innings. Then, the River Riders were able to score their first run of the night in the bottom of the fourth, when Sam Thompson was able to drive in Marcus Brown with a one-out single.
The River Riders’ pitching remained dominant through the middle innings, as Gillespie and Jordan Leasure combined for seven innings of two-hit, shutout ball, with 12 strikeouts. In the sixth and seventh, Elizabethton was able to tack on three and two runs in each inning, respectively, to take a 6-0 lead into the eighth.
It was there where the Doughboys would rally. The River Riders were able to get the first two outs of the inning fairly quickly before Johnson City would erupt for five runs on three hits, capped off by an opposite-field grand slam by first baseman Joe Vetrano.
Things would not get any easier for the River Riders in the ninth, where Doughboys center fielder Jaxson Crull led off with a double, putting the tying run in scoring position. However, Nathan Williams would strike out the next three Johnson City hitters to secure the victory for Elizabethton.
The River Riders will be back in action against the Doughboys Wednesday night at Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
River Riders, 6-5
Doughboys 5 6 2
River Riders 6 7 0
W-Jordan Leasure (2-0)
L-Steven Casey (1-1)
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