Axmen complete series sweep of River Riders in West division showdown

Published 8:34 am Thursday, July 21, 2022

By: Andrew Smith

KINGSPORT–The Kingsport Axmen (27-13 ) completed the sweep over the Elizabethton River Riders (19-21) in dominating fashion on Wednesday night by a final score of 10-3. Left fielder Kyle Booker went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI.

The win was a big one for the Axmen, as it extended their lead over the River Riders to eight games in the Appalachian League West standings with just two and a half weeks left to play in the season.

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Kingsport got the scoring started early, as they put up three runs in the bottom of the first. Each of the first three batters reached for the Axmen, loading the bases. Then, Kingsport got an RBI single from first baseman Corbin Shaw, an RBI groundout from Booker, and an RBI single by second baseman Gunner Gouldsmith to take a 3-0 lead after one.

The River Riders began to climb back into the game in the top of the third. All-Star Harrison Rodgers doubled with runners on first and second to score second baseman Marcus Sanders. Then, designated hitter Brennan Orf drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs to bring home left fielder Leo Perez, cutting the deficit to 3-2.

However, the Axmen got those two runs back in their half of the third inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, catcher Logan Poteet singled to bring home Booker and All-Star outfielder Ian Riley, extending the lead to 5-2 in favor of Kingsport.

This was just the start of the Axmen pouring it on Elizabethton, as they put up three more in their next trip to the plate. After getting hit by a pitch, center fielder Sam Petersen made it to third with two outs. Then, Shaw and Booker hit back-to-back triples before third baseman Payton Allen reached on an error. When the frame came to a close, Kingsport had blown it open to an 8-2 lead.

E-Town did push across one run in the top of the seventh. Third baseman Brody Green singled to right-center field with two outs to bring home Sanders from third, bringing the Riders back within five as it was now 8-3.

The Axmen added on two more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. Shortstop Mayes White came home on a passed ball and All-Star Nate Anderson came home on another Riley single, making the game 10-3.

That is where the game would stay, as Kingsport held on in the ninth. The River Riders will have to turn the page quickly, as they travel to Pulaski on Thursday to take on the River Turtles. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. Meanwhile, the Axmen will travel to Princeton to take on the WhistlePigs. The game is also scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Final                     R      H      E      LOB

River Riders        3       5       2       7

Axmen                10      12      2       8


W: Walker Trusley (3-0)

L: Sean Hollister (1-1)