River Riders blank State Liners to earn sweep of two-game series

Published 1:11 am Sunday, June 12, 2022

BRISTOL, Va.–The Elizabethton River Riders (8-2) swept the first series of their six-game road trip on Saturday by defeating the Bristol State Liners (3-7) by a final of 5-0. Left fielder Isaac Williams went 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.

The win allowed the River Riders to go into the league-wide off day tied with the Kingsport Axmen tied for the West Division lead. It was also the first shutout of the season for the Elizabethton pitching staff.

The scoring for the River Riders started in the top of the second, as catcher Cayden Phillips drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home third baseman Harrison Rodgers. Right fielder Morgan Colopy also scored in the inning, coming home on a wild pitch. Elizabethton led 2-0 after one and a half innings.

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E-Town would add one more in the top of the fourth, when Williams hit a double with two outs in the inning to score first baseman Brennan Orf. However, that would be all they would get in the inning, as it was now 3-0.

In the bottom of the fifth, the State Liners would end a streak of twelve straight hitters retired by River Rider starter Carter Lovasz, as left fielder RJ Jimerson would walk with two outs. However, he would not score, as first baseman Daniel Hicks lined out to end the threat.

The fifth was the last inning for Lovasz, who went five innings, allowing no runs on just one hit and one walk while striking out six State Liners. The River Riders led 3-0 after his departure.

Elizabethton added two more in the sixth. Designated hitter Owen Carapellotti singled home Williams. Then, Rodgers would hit into a 4-6 fielder’s choice to bring home second baseman Austin Roccaforte, giving the Riders a 5-0 lead.

The bullpen for the River Riders would hold steady, as a combination of Zach Martinez, Ben Riley Flowers, Ryan Widmeier, and Jake Shapley would throw a scoreless four innings, allowing a combined two hits and two walks while striking out three.

After Sunday’s off-day, the River Riders will begin a two-game series against the Danville Otterbots on Monday. First pitch from Danville will be at 7 p.m. The State Liners will play the Greeneville Flyboys on Monday. The game will begin at 7 p.m. at Pioneer Park in Greenville.

Final R H E
River Riders 5 2 1
State Liners 0 2 1
W: Lovasz (2-0)
L: Valka (0-1)