River Riders use seventh-inning rally to best River Turtles

Published 9:21 am Saturday, August 6, 2022

By Andrew Smith
Star Correspondent
The Elizabethton River Riders (25-26) defeated the Pulaski River Turtles (27-28) in game one of a two-game series on Friday night. Riders left fielder Issac Williams went 2-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI.
The win kept alive the hopes of the River Riders of finishing the season at .500, as they would need a win in the season finale. It also brought the club back to even in the standings with the Greeneville Flyboys for third place in the Appy League West.
After a 35-minute rain delay before the first pitch, the River Turtles struck first in the top of the first. Center fielder Rodney Green Jr. led off the game with a triple before scoring on a sacrifice fly to left field. Before starter Nick Perez threw a pitch, he had a 1-0 lead.
However, the River Riders responded with two of their own in the bottom of the first. Designated hitter Connor Price drew a bases-loaded walk before third baseman Jaxon Diamond hit a sacrifice fly to center field. Through one complete inning, E-Town led 2-1.
Pulaski would get both of those runs back in the second inning. Shortstop Gage Goddard came home on a wild pitch and catcher Maxwell Kirton scored on an RBI groundout to second base. It was now a 3-2 River Turtle lead.
They extended that lead in the third, when first baseman Owen Deshazo hit a long solo home run to left field, traveling an estimated 381 feet. After a single, Elizabethton pitcher Collin Rothermel escaped the frame without further damage, as it was now 4-2.
The Riders got back within a run in the bottom of the fourth. Diamond led off the inning with a double, moved up to third on a groundout to second, and came home on a sacrifice fly to left field by catcher Reagan Guthrie. The Turtles’ lead was now at 4-3.
That score would hold until the bottom of the seventh, where Elizabethton stormed to take the lead by scoring four runs. With the bases loaded and one out, Williams tripled to deep left-center field, clearing the bases. Price followed that up with a sacrifice fly to bring Williams home, giving the Riders a 7-4 lead.
E-Town added on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. Center fielder Brendan Jones hit an RBI single to center field to score second baseman Juan Zorola. The lead was now 8-4 in favor of the Riders, and that is where it would stay.
The two teams will meet one more time on Saturday night to close the Appalachian League regular season. First pitch from Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Final                       R    H    E    LOB
River Turtles         4     5     0     6
River Riders          8     6     0     7
W: Cody Bowker (1-0)
L: Drew Blake (4-5)

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