River Rider rally falls short

Published 9:24 am Monday, July 25, 2022

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For the second straight game the Elizabethton River Riders (21-23) forged a late rally to pull within a run only to see the final frame fall short in a 6-4 loss to Burlington in Appalachian League action at Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark on Sunday.

“We gave ourselves opportunities, but we have two M.O’s that continue to haunt us,” River Rider manager Jeremy Owens said. “We don’t throw enough strikes and we continue to look at hittable pitches that get away from us. We had opportunities which is what we strive for, and it was a quick turnaround in that last inning and you can use whatever excuse you want.”

Once again the early innings belonged to the Sock Puppets as they built a 4-1 lead after three frames in a seven inning game as Even Applewick blasted a two run homer to left field in the second frame against Riders starter Landry Kyle (0-5).

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“I was really proud of what Landry Kyle did today,” Owens said. “He has only been pitching for a season or so, but he has progressed with every outing this year. He ran into a bit of trouble but he handled it and he understands that he has to get the ball down in the zone to be effective.”

Burlington (33-13) plated two more runs in the third with Kole Myers delivering a bases loaded two run single. Myers finished two-for-four on the day and his hit staked starter Mason Ruh (3-2) with a 4-0 advantage.

In the bottom of the third, Brenden Jones blasted a solo home run to right field – his third of the season – to make it a 4-1 contest. The Sock Puppets tallied a run in the fifth against Riders reliever Ryan Widmeier with Jadier Hernandez driving in a run with a two out single to make it a 5-1 game.

Widmeier pitched a scoreless sixth frame and the Riders rallied for three runs against Burlington reliever Ian McNabb in the sixth when McNabb lost the plate and walked the bases loaded and walked in a run before being lifted.

Harrison Rodgers opened the stanza with a single with Alexander McCoy and Brody Green each drawing a free pass to load the bases. After Reagan Guthrie popped out to the infield Ty Peters worked a walk to plate Rodgers and make it a 5-2 contest.

Marcus Sanders then hit a hot grounder to second for a force out but the relay throw to first base eluded Applewick and two River Rider runners scored for a 5-4 score. In the seventh J.C. Colon greeted Wilfredo Valenzuela with a home run to left field to give the Sock Puppets a 6-4 advantage.

Brett Johnson pitched a one-two-three seventh inning to secure the win.


Burlington 6-4

Burlington            022 010 1 – 6 9 1

Elizabethton        001 003 0 – 4 4 0

W – Ruh L – Kyle

HR – Colon, Jones, Applewick.