Johnson City Cardinals (R): Coming off an aggravating 12-9 loss to the Kingsport Mets Wednesday night at Hunter Wright Field, the rookie league Cards ventured to Boyce Cox Field (DeVault Memorial Field) in Bristol, Virginia to take on the Bristol Sox (Chicago White Sox affiliate).
The results were quite different this time…. more at main site
KINGSPORT, TN–The Johnson City Cardinals (R) jumped all over the Kingsport Mets at Hunter Wright Field tonight, and they did so in all of the opening innings.
As starting pitcher Reynier Gonzalez held the Mets scoreless, Curt Smith singled home Brett Lilley in the first. A few batters later, Alex Castellanos hit a two-RBI single in the first.
Up 3-0, the Mets’ battery helped Johnson City score a couple more in the second, Jarred Bogany scoring on a balk, Nico Vasquez scoring on a past ball.
After a scoreless third, the Cards revved up their bats once more in the fourth, Curt Smith hitting a three-run homer to put the Cards up 8-0.
Santo Maertz relieved Gonzalez to start the fifth, giving up a couple hits with two outs before throwing a ground out to get out of a slight jam with Mets base runners on the corners.
Gonzalez worked four full innings, scattering three hits in his scoreless work. He walked two and struck out three.
Kingsport did not score in the fifth, nor did Johnson City in the top of the sixth.
Kevin Thomas came on in relief of Maertz to start the bottom of the sixth. Thomas got in a jam, the Mets securing men on the corners with one out, but pitched his way out of it to hold the Mets scoreless.
In the top of the seventh, Johnson City loaded the bases with one out for Travis Mitchell, but he hit an popup and was called out on an Infield Fly Rule. A wild pitch with Bogany at bat allowed Edgar Lara to score from third. Bogany grounded out, the Cards leaving two men on base, but picking up a run and extending their lead to 9-0.
The bottom of the seventh found Kingsport yet struggling and unable to put their first run on the board off of Thomas.
Johnson City added nothing in the top of the eighth.
Thomas continued to work into the Kingsport half of the inning, the Mets getting a runner on when a throw from shortstop Nico Vasquez got away from Curt Smith at first base. Thomas then hit the next batter, putting two on. A single loaded the bases, and the Mets once more had a chance to break up the shutout, this time with two outs. A two-run single finally put the Mets on the board, cutting the big lead a little, making it 9-2.
The Cardinals added nothing in the ninth.
Kingsport refused to go down easy in the bottom of the ninth, adding a couple runs off reliever Jose Mateo before bringing up a two out situation with men on the corners. A single to center brought in another run, cutting the lead to 9-5.
Johnson City saw fit to go to their bullpen once more, calling upon Jorge Rondon. The Mets singled again, loading the bases, bringing the tying run to the plate with two outs. Charles Doyle hit a three-RBI double to close the gap to one at 9-8. Yet another single brought home the tying run, the potential winning run now on first base. To bring the Mets ever closer to a last inning comeback win, the next hitter singled to center, moving the potential winning run into scoring position.
In a desperation effort to find a reliever to put the stop to the Mets’ rally, Johnson City brought in Matthew Frevert to try to keep the game at 9-9.
To complete the Cardinals’ nightmare, Kingsport’s Rogelio Del Campo blasted a three-run walk-off homer to right field to give the Mets a gigantic comeback win, 12-9.
Rondon took the loss, falling to 1-2.
Plenty of offense still wasn’t enough, however, but in the losing effort, the Cardinals’ hitters of note were: Curt Smith, who went 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs; Nico Vasquez, who went 2-for-4 with a double, and scoring three runs.
KINGSPORT, TN–The St. Louis Cardinals’ rookie league affiliate Johnson City Cardinals have moved into a tie for fourth place with the Kingston Mets in the Appalachian West after edging them yesterday, 5-4, at Hunter Wright Stadium.
The Cards are only a half-game out of second place in a five-team division in which four teams are no more than a half-game apart. The Cards are six games out of first place.
JC took the lead four different times, Kingston answering twice. The rookie league Cards scored in four different innings.
Matthew North (2-0) earned the win, pitching five complete. He allowed seven hits and three runs, all earned. North walked no one while striking out seven. The fifth inning was a mixed bag for North, who struggled in several ways, but may have just learned a lot from the process.
In the fifth, and in no particular order, North gave up two singles and double, struck out one hitter swinging and one looking, threw two wild pitches during one at-bat, allowing a Mets’ base runner to advance to third, then score, balked a base runner from first to second, and got one pop-out. By the end of the inning, North and the Cards had somehow survived enough of the adventure to carry on with a 3-3 tie.
After the Cards retook the lead on an Edgar Lara solo shot in the sixth, Jon Bravo relieved North to start the Mets portion of the frame. Bravo went the rest of the game, giving up one run on four hits. He walked only one while striking out six, earning his first save.
Besides the Lara home run, the JC offense supported their pitchers with just enough runs to win. Second baseman Brett Lilley had a great day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Liiley is batting .309.
Travis Mitchell contributed, scoring two runs on a 2-for-3 day.
Curt Smith went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Nico Vasquez added a double, his ninth this season.
Johnson City was a band of thieves in this game as well, second base swiped the most, by Alex Castellanos (1), Mitchell (4), and Vasquez (3). Jarred Bogany stole home (1).
Johnson City scored five runs on nine hits and no errors.
Kingston scored four runs on eleven hits with one error.
Whatcha done for me lately? So far this season, first baseman Curt Smith leads the JC Cards in hitting with a .324 average. He also has the best slugging percentage at .574.
Matt Rigoli has the best On-base percentage at .457.
Shortstop Guillermo Toribio has eight steals, tops on the squad so far.
Home run leaders with four each are Alex Castellanos and Curt Smith.
Castellanos also leads in tiples with two.
As for doubles, Nico Vasquez has tallied the most with nine.
Vasquez also leads the team in games (25), ABs (91), runs (17), and hits (29).
North has pitched the most innings at 25.2.
Bravo has is tops in Ks with 32.
Leading in ERA with a minimum of 10 IP is Jorge Rondon at 2.19.