River Riders rally late to defeat Flyboys

Published 9:01 am Tuesday, July 12, 2022

By: Andrew Smith

TUSCULUM–The Elizabethton River Riders (15-17) used seven late runs to defeat the Greeneville Flyboys (16-18) by a final score of 12-7. Designated hitter Harrison Rodgers went 4-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI, and fell a home run short of the cycle.

 

The game was just the second in the past six days for the River Riders, as they had two scheduled off days, two rainouts and a COVID-19 cancellation that caused the lack of games. The lone game played in the stretch was a 9-7 loss to the Princeton WhistlePigs on Saturday.

 

Elizabethton got on the board first, as they got one in the top of the first. Center fielder Brendan Jones led off the game with a single, and would make it to third on a Rodgers single. Jones then came home on an RBI groundout by left fielder Issac Williams to make the game 1-0.

 

The Flyboys jumped in front of the River Riders in the bottom of the first. After a flyout to start the game, Greeneville got a single, a double and a walk to load the bases. Then, left fielder Aidan Cannaday got a base hit to score two, giving Greeneville a 2-1 lead after one.

E-Town retook the lead in the top of third. With runners on second and third and one out, Williams hit a slow grounder to shortstop Alex Diaz. Diaz then made an error on the throw to first. This error allowed both the runners on second and third to score on the play. The River Riders now led 3-2.

Greeneville got the lead back in the bottom of the fourth. Center fielder Myles Smith walked with two outs to bring first baseman Cameron LaLiberte to the plate, who hit a two-run homer to center field, making the game 4-3 in favor of the Flyboys.

The River Riders tied the game in the top of the fifth. Rodgers hit a triple to center field before scoring on a base hit to left by right fielder Morgan Colopy. It was 4-4 at the game’s halfway point.

The back-and-forth affair continued in the sixth, where the Flyboys took the lead once more. After back-to-back walks to start the inning, second baseman Will Brown doubled to bring home right fielder Shemar Dalton. Catcher Canyon Brown also scored in the inning, as he came home on a wild pitch. River Rider reliever Baker Cox then got three straight strikeouts to hold the game at 6-4.

Elizabethton got back within one in the top of the seventh, when third baseman Ty Peters brought home Rodgers on an RBI fielder’s choice. However, the Flyboys got the run back in their half of the seventh, when Canyon Brown hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Cannaday. It was 7-5 heading into the eighth.

That is where the River Rider offense kicked into high gear. They put up four runs in the frame, with the big blow being a two-run double by Rodgers to score second baseman Marcus Sanders and Jones. After eight, E-Town retook the lead, as it was now 9-7.

They added on in the top of the ninth, when they scored three more runs. Catcher Cayden Phillips scored on a Jones double and two more came home on a single by Williams. It was now 12-7, and that is where the game would stay.

The two teams will play each other again on Tuesday night, as it will be the last trip the River Riders will make to Pioneer Park in 2022. First pitch between Elizabethton and Greeneville will be at 7 p.m.

 

Final                   R    H    E    LOB

River Riders     12   12     1      11

Flyboys                7   11     3      11

 

W: Maddox Pennington (1-1)

L: Brian Yetter (2-4)

S: Jake Shapley (1)