The Johnson City Cardinals’ power surge continued Monday. A day after blasting two home runs in a victory, the Cardinals used another long ball to knock off Princeton, 2-1.
On Monday, Justin Ringo led off the eighth inning with his second home run of the season to break the 1-1 tie.
“I started off 0-for-2, the first at bat I hit a ball hard (lined out to right), and the second at bat just wasn’t very good,” Ringo said. “I just went up there looking for a first-pitch fastball and that’s what he gave me.”
In the previous two games Johnson City has belted a total of three home runs including two game winners. In the previous 34 games, the Cardinals had 14 home runs.
Johnson City, now 17-19 on the season, struck early in the opening inning thanks to a two-out RBI single to left off Ronnierd Garcia’s bat. Vaughn Bryan was on third after his lead-off double and advance on a groundout.
“That was good for the team early in the game,” Johnson City manager Joe Kruzel said about the first run. “It’s always nice to have an early lead to make the other team play catch-up.”
Zach Loraine finished the game on the mound and threw two scoreless innings. With the victory, Loraine’s record went to 1-0. Alexander Reyes threw seven innings and struck out eight in his start.
“You know Reyes pitched a heck of a game, unfortunately in the sixth he gave up that two-out hit. Other than that, he done a pretty good job of making good pitches,” Kruzel said. “He threw a lot of strikes and it was good to see him get into the seventh (inning).”
“Then Loraine came in and kept the game where it was,” Kruzel added.
Princeton’s Enmanuel Paulino used his third single of the game to tie the game at 1-1 in the sixth. Jesus Araiza singled with one out and scored on the play.
Paulino’s 3-for-4 effort was the only multi-hit effort in the contest.
The Rays’ Luis Cabrera was tagged for the defeat after three relief innings of work.
The middle contest of the three-game set will start at 7 p.m. this evening.