Riders split twin bill with Otterbots

Published 8:54 am Monday, July 24, 2023

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On Friday night the Elizabethton River Riders split a doubleheader with Danville and saw Johnson City clinch the West Division of the Appalachian League after the River Riders fell 10-6 in the opener but rallied for a 10-7 game two win.
Riders pitching walked 11 Otterbot hitters and walked in four runs in the contest with Trevor Callahan surrendering five runs (zero earned) walking six while giving up just one hit.
“Take nothing away from Danville; they are a good team,” said River Riders manager Jeremy Owens. “We gave up a lot of walks but they took advantage and plated a bunch of runs. In some ways I think we tried too hard to get runs back in bunches and didn’t take a good approach in our at bats.”
The Riders (18-18) scored three first inning runs in support of Callahan with Trey Fenderson and Kerry Herndon-Brown each opening with a free pass. Brendan Jones doubled home a run and Betsy had runners at second and third.
Dylan Knowles reached on an infield error which allowed Herndon-Brown to score and catcher Angel Lobo’s ground ball made it a 3-0 contest. The Otterbots (22-17) scored five runs in the top of the second with the benefit of just one hit, but a big error also helped Danville.
Michael Callan Moss reached on an infield error and Grant Stephenson singled to put runners on first and second and one out later, Callahan issued three straight walks to force in a run. A hit batter forced home another run and back to back walks forced home two more runs with the last run of the stanza coming on a wild pitch.
In the second inning, D.J. Dillehay’s double scored Peyton Basler, who walked to start the frame.
John Harrick came on in relief and he opened the fourth inning by giving up a single to Jacob Moore and a two run homer to Luke Lambert for a 7-4 Danville advantage. Jordan Taylor walked and one out later Blake Berthol also drew a free pass and Moss’ single brought home another run to make it 8-4.
A walk to Stephenson loaded the bases and one out later a wild pitch brought home the ninth run of the game and Jackson Tyre also walked and Wil Bolinger came on in relief of Harrick and he promptly walked in the 10th run of the game for Danville.
The game remained static over the next two and a half innings until the Riders pushed two runs across in the seventh with Kade Huff and Lobo drawing walks from Danville reliever Brandon Jung and a wild pitch brought home both runners.
Game Two
River Riders 10
Otterbots 7
The River Riders (19-18) got multiple RBI games from Skylar King, Hayden Moore, Dylan Knowles and Hunter Porter and broke the game wide open with nine runs in the last of the third inning. The Riders big inning gave Elizabethton its first lead of the game and overcame a 7-1 deficit.
Danville (22-18) opened with a pair of runs in the top of the first after a Jordan Taylor bunt single was followed by RBI singles from Dean Mihos and Carrington Aaron. The Otterbots tallied five runs in the top of the second after a single from A.J. Zaccareo and a walk to Taylor.
With one out Zac Rice’s sacrifice fly made it a 3-0 contest and an RBI hit from Santiago Ordonez plated one more run. With the bases loaded Preston Crowl singled home two more runs for a 6-0 Danville advantage.
Marcello Mastroianni came on in relief of Kyle Mueller and was greeted with an RBI single from Tre Keels taking the ‘Bots to a seven run lead.
“We talk to our players about staying constant in their approach,” Owens said. “For pitchers as well as hitters you have to stay constant. It isn’t about just hitting but getting better and more consistent.”
Elizabethton got a run in the last of the second after a Hunter Porter triple and a sacrifice fly from Kade Huff to cut the lead to 7-1. In the third inning the Riders sent 13 batters to the plate with King driving in a pair of runs with a double.
Porter then drove in a pair of runs with a single to centerfield and Huff popped out for the second out of the inning with the River Riders still trailing 7-6. Keaton Cottam and Xavier Cintron each walked and came around on a two bagger from Moore and Knowles double scored two more runs to complete the comeback.
Game One
Danville 10-6
Danville 050 500 0 – 10 5 2
River Riders 310 000 2 – 6 4 1
W – Miller L – Callahan
HR – Lambert (1)
Game Two
River Riders 10-7
Danville 250 000 0 – 7 11 0
River Riders 019 000 x – 10 8 1
W – Mastroianni L – Barger
Sv – Jergins

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