The Johnson City Cardinals and Elizabethton Twins got their seasons off to rousing starts with convincing victories on the road as the Appalachian League season opened on Thursday night.
The Cardinals used a six-run fifth inning and a huge night from Jose Godoy to trounce the Bluefield Blue Jays, 13-0, while the Twins rolled past the Greeneville Astros, 11-3.
Godoy went 4 for 5 and drove in six runs for Johnson City, which banged out 18 hits off of four Bluefield pitchers.
Johnson City’s big sixth inning was keyed by Chris Rivera’s two-run home run.
Landon Beck (1-0) held the Blue Jays in check with six scoreless innings. He allowed four hits.
Steven Farinaro pitched two innings and Kender Villegas worked the ninth to complete the shutout.
Johnson City broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth inning. After Casey Grayson doubled and scored on an error, Godoy drove in a pair of runs with a line drive single to center field to make it 3-0.
The six-run fifth sealed the deal for the Cardinals. Oscar Mercado got things rolling with a leadoff single. He scored on Rivera’s two-run home run to left field.
Godoy, Blake Drake and Anthony Ray followed with RBI singles. Johnson City batted around and Mercado accounted for the final run with a groundout.
Godoy had two doubles as part of his resume.
Casey Turgeon and Drake both went 3 for 4 for the Cardinals, while Mercado and Grayson each had two hits.
Meanwhile, Austin Diemer had the big hit for the Twins, a three-run homer in the fourth inning. Also for Elizabethton, Trey Vavra drove in four runs with a 3-for-5 performance.
Thursday night was the debut of Nick Gordon, the Twins’ shortstop and first-round pick. After grounding out in his first at-bat, Gordon went 3 for 5 and scored two runs.
Diemer’s three-run homer in the fourth inning broke it open and gave the Twins a 5-1 lead. Vavra’s two-run single in the fifth inning put Elizabethton up 7-2 and the Twins cruised in from there.
The Cards will play at Bluefield again today at 7 p.m., while the Twins will play at Greeneville at the same time. Both teams’ home openers are set for Sunday.comments powered by Disqus