River Riders fall to Turtles

Published 1:14 pm Wednesday, July 10, 2024

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The Elizabethton River Riders continued their up-and-down July with a 6-3 loss to the Pulaski River Turtles on Tuesday night at Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark.

University of Tennessee sophomore Marcus Phillips started for the Riders (11-18) and pitched 3.1 innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits with one walk and four strikeouts.

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“It’s been an unbelievable year,” Phillips said. “Transferring from a small community college to UT and winning the College World Series was amazing. It’s been great to be able to continue playing here.”

The Riders took an early lead on catcher Jayden Lobliner’s fifth home run of the season that plated James Hall II, who reached on a throwing error from Pulaski starting pitcher Matt Porter.

In the top of the third, Pulaski second baseman Kevin Jones doubled to center field and scored on a single from right fielder Alec DeMartino. In the bottom of the frame, the River Riders got that run back when Hall II walked and moved to second on a single from Jaxon Diamond.

A wild pitch moved both runners up a base, and Hall II scored on a ground ball from Cole Torbett for a 3-1 Betsy lead. Phillips gave way to Caden Carroll in the fourth frame, and with one out, Joe Kinneberg singled to left field and went to second on an error by Hall II.

Carroll came on at this point, and Jonathan Holt greeted him with a single to plate Kinneberg, making it a 3-2 contest. In the fifth, Pulaski plated three runs with Conor Cooke opening with a free pass. Austen Jaslove’s infield single put Turtle runners on first and second, and DeMartino’s single loaded the bases.

A single from Noah Rabin plated two runs, and a wild pitch from Carroll scored the third run of the inning as Pulaski took a 5-3 advantage. Porter (2-0, 1.64 ERA) took the win with five innings of work, and Eli Shaw and Kyle Demi pitched four scoreless innings to secure the win.

Pulaski added an insurance run in the eighth on a triple from Kinneberg, who finished the game 3-for-3 with two runs scored. He came around on an error by third baseman James Woody.

“I have said, look at the errors, and it gives you a look at who wins and loses,” River Riders manager Jeremy Owens said. “Baseball is a real funny game, man, and the guys are buying into what we are trying to relate to them. Our starting pitching has kept us in games all year long, and we hope that continues and we start to get better at scoring runs when we have the opportunity.”

Pulaski 6-3

Pulaski 001 130 010 – 6 9 1

River Riders 201 000 000 – 3 5 3

W – Porter (2-0)

L – Carroll (1-2)

HR – Lobliner (5)