River Riders erase early 4-run deficit to defeat Doughboys

Published 12:40 am Tuesday, June 7, 2022

The Elizabethton River Riders (4-1) scored seven unanswered runs on Monday night to come back and defeat the Johnson City Doughboys (0-5) by a final score of 7-4. Appalachian League Player of the Week, catcher Owen Carapellotti, went 3-for-4 with a run scored in the victory.

The win allowed the River Riders to keep pace with the first place Kingsport Axmen, who remained undefeated after Monday’s action. It also marked their third victory in as many attempts in games against other West Division opponents.

The action got started early for the Doughboys as left fielder Isaiah Frost and shortstop Matt Miceli both singled to start the first inning. After a flyout to left, first baseman Michael Moss hit a bloop double down the left field line to bring home Frost and Miceli. However, that would be all of the damage allowed in the first, as the Doughboys led 2-0 after a half inning.

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River Riders starter Carter Lovasz would find his groove after escaping the jam, going a total of four innings, allowing just those two runs and three hits, adding two strikeouts and two walks. However, he would not receive any run support, as Doughboys starter Jacob Bockenstedt would also go four innings, allowing no runs on just two hits, two walks, and striking out eight batters.

Johnson City was happy to see Lovasz’s day come to a close, as the first batter reliever Cole Rodriguez saw, third baseman Harris Celata hit a home run to right field. Rodriguez would also give up an RBI double to catcher Jayden Melendez, extending the lead to 4-0 after four and a half.

After coming up empty in a bases-loaded and no one out situation in the fifth, Elizabethton would finally see runs in the sixth. First, third baseman Harrison Rodgers would hit a two-run homer to right field to cut the deficit in half, 4-2. Then, shortstop Marcus Sanders would hit an RBI double to right field, with a second run scoring on a throwing error by Johnson City right fielder Donovan Hill. After six, the game was tied at 4-4.

In the top of the seventh, E-Town manager Jeremy Owens turned to Evan Loeser to keep the game tied, and he delivered. Loeser pitched three scoreless innings, only allowing one hit, one walk, and one hit by pitch. He also punched out six Doughboys. Loeser said that he was just looking to keep the hitters in the game.

“Just [stay] laser-focused,” Loeser said. “Going out there, collecting outs, in a tight ballgame like that, that’s all you can do, is just collect outs, keep the game moving and give your hitters a chance.”

In the bottom of the seventh, the River Riders would get their chance, as back-to-back bases-loaded walks by left fielder Isaac Williams and designated hitter Gilbert Saunders would give Elizabethton their first lead, 6-4. An RBI single by Rodgers in the eighth would give the Riders an insurance run heading into the ninth, 7-4.

Loeser would shut the door on the Doughboys, completing the impressive relief outing. The Doughboys and River Riders will complete their two-game series Tuesday night. First pitch from Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark will be at 7 p.m.

Final R H E
Doughboys 4 7 1
River Riders 7 10 1
W: Loeser (1-0)
L: Beckner (0-1)