River Riders fall in ‘sudden death’

Published 2:29 pm Friday, June 30, 2023

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In a new a bizarre rule introduced by the Appalachian League on Thursday saw the Elizabethton River Riders lose 6-6 at Northeast Community Credit Union ballpark. The rule says if a seven inning game is tied at the end then the home team can win in two ways.
The first way is to go on offense and put a runner at first base. That runner is the player who made the last out in regulation. If they score that runner they win if they don’t they lose. Bluefield (8-9) went on defense and pitcher Jacob Vogel held the Riders scoreless and took the victory.
Second baseman Xavier Cintron took first base and Matty Wright struck out, followed by fly ball outs from Peyton Basler and Skyler King. Cintron – coming in with an .083 batting average had two hits in this one – a second inning single and a third inning RBI double.
In the third frame Cintron stole home when Basler was caught in a pickle between first and second base and when Bluefield second baseman IKEA Harrison dropped the relay throw from first baseman Blake Guerin, Cintron scooted home.
“I saw Basler take off and when he got in a pickle I didn’t want to force it,” Cintron said. “But when the second baseman dropped the ball I just took off. We run a lot here and we use it to put pressure on the defense.”
Bluefield scored a pair of runs in the second inning off right hander Kyle Mueller with singles from Joey Brzezinski and James Hacker singled to put Ride Runners on the corners. Singles by Jack Doyle and Aedan Anderson scored the runners.
A solo homer from Guerin in the third frame made it a 3-0 lead for Bluefield but the River Riders plated three in the last of the third. Keaton Cottam reached on an infield error and Cintron belted an RBI double to centerfield and with one out Basler was hit by a pitch.
Basler’s attempt at stealing second was turned away by a fine throw from catcher Brett Blair forcing the rundown that allowed Cintron to sneak home from third base making it a 3-2 contest. New arrival Dylan Knowles run scoring single tied the game at 3-3.
The see saw scoring continued in the fourth when the Riders took a 4-3 advantage on an RBI single from Cottam that scored Kerry Herndon-Brown who walked and stole second. In the game the Riders finished with seven stolen bases and moved runners on two wild pitches and a passed ball.
But in the sudden death stage the Riders (10-9) did not attempt to steal second base with Cintron – a fast runner – on base and end up losing.
Bluefield took a 6-4 lead with three runs in the fifth on RBI hits from Blair and Bryce Knox. The Riders answered with a pair of runs on the last of the frame with King reaching on a single, stealing second and coming home on a second RBI hit from Knowles.
The second run scored when a strike three pitch to Trey Fenderson glanced off Blair’s glove allowing Knowles to score the tying run.
Ridge Runners 6-6
Bluefield 021 030 x – 6 9 2
Elizabethton 003 120 0 – 6 10 2
W – Vogel L – Mueller
HR – Guerin (3)

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