River Riders win slugfest over Axemen

Published 7:51 pm Saturday, July 6, 2024

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A busy third inning saw seven runs scored – six by the River Riders – who won their third straight game 11-8 over Kingsport on Friday night at Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark.

In the top of the frame, Riley Orr singled and scored later on a base knock from Jet Gilliam for a 1-0 Axemen lead. The Riders (11-15) exploded in the last of the inning, striking for six runs with Brady Picarelli opening with a walk.

James Woody II doubled to center field, pushing Picarelli to third base from where he scored on a ground ball off the bat of Nick Hockemeyer. After a walk to Kevin Hall Jr., a single from second baseman Adam Magpoc plated Woody for a 2-1 Elizabethton lead.

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The hit parade continued with an RBI single from Cole Torbett, who ended up on second on the throw to the plate, which was late as the Riders now led 3-1. Magpoc scored on a balk from Kingsport starter Javarra Martin Jr.

“I’m happy with what this club is doing right now,” River Riders manager Jeremy Owens said. “It’s nice to see a little extra life, and we are going to try to lighten the load, and I’m not disappointed in the guys. I know our record doesn’t look good, but I am happy with what they have shown.”

Tanner Waldrop nailed an RBI single to plate Torbett for a 5-1 Riders lead, and Leandro Perez drove in Waldrop with a single to make it a 6-1 Betsy lead.

Spencer Atkins (1-2) started and earned the victory with 5.1 innings of work. He gave up three runs – all earned – on five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. In the top of the sixth, Mason Swinney hit a two-run home run following a walk to Devin Zirwas to close the Kingsport deficit to 6-3.

Caden Carroll came on in relief of Atkins and was greeted by Charlie Rogan with a single, and Riley Orr drilled a two-run homer to make it a 6-5 contest. The Riders answered the Kingsport rally with four runs in the bottom of the sixth.

With the bases loaded, Magpoc’s double plated two runs, and Torbett’s ground ball plated another run as Elizabethton now led 9-5. Catcher Jaden Lobliner continued the onslaught with an RBI single for a 10-5 Riders advantage.

Swinney connected on his second home run of the game against Carroll, who surrendered five runs in one and two-thirds innings of work. For Swinney, it was his third home run of the season, and his knock made it 10-8.

In the eighth, Magpoc walked and went to second on a wild pitch from Kingsport reliever Duke McCarron. Magpoc then stole third base and scored on a ground ball by Lobliner. For the Riders, Magpoc and Waldrop each had two hits, with Magpoc driving in three runs, and Torbett and Lobliner each having two RBIs.

Elizabethton 11-8

Kingsport 001 004 300 – 8 11 3
River Riders 006 004 01x – 11 10 1

W – Atkins (1-2) L – Martin (1-1)
S – Myles Green (4)
HR – Swinney 2 (3), Orr (2)