In golf, knowing the course and hitting the ball in precise spots can lead to great success.
It’s not quite as easy in baseball, but Oswald Caraballo found just enough of a mighty left-to-right wind to close-shave the top of the right field fence for what basically became a game-winning homer Monday night.
Caraballo’s two-run shot broke a tie and gave Kingsport the lead in the top of the sixth inning, and the Mets held on for a 7-4 win over Johnson City in the first game of a seven-inning doubleheader at Cardinal Park.
However, the Cardinals earned a split of the doubleheader by winning the nightcap, 3-2. Johnson City (7-4) fell a half-game out of first place in the West Division of the Appalachian League as Elizabethton (8-4) swept a double dip with Bristol. Kingsport fell to 6-6.
Kender Villegas (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn the victory, and Ismael Brito locked things down in the ninth inning to record his second save of the season. Casey Grayson had the game's biggest hit, a two-run single in the bottom of the third inning to give the Cardinals a 3-0 advantage.
It just wasn’t in the cards for Johnson City in game one. Manager Johnny Rodriguez was ejected after arguing a changed-after-the-fact call that caused Casey Turgeon to be doubled off of first base. The umpires initially ruled safe on Jesus Ustariz’s line drive, forcing Turgeon to attempt to advance ? but then changed it and left Turgeon hung out to dry.
Rodriguez got in home-plate umpire Cody Clark’s face, and eventually grabbed his hat with both hands and lifted it partly off of his head. Clark responded with the ejection.
The Cardinals were unable to respond themselves in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Kingsport got out of the gates first. After a single, steal and groundout put Ivan Wilson on third, the first inning seemed to end as Eudor Garcia struck out. However, Cards’ catcher Jose Godoy was charged with a passed ball, allowing Wilson to score and Garcia to reach first safely.
Johnson City answered in the second inning with Casey Turgeon driving in a run with a double.
In the fourth inning, Kingsport jumped back ahead as a pair one-out singles were followed by a wild pitch from Dailyn Martinez to put runners on second and third. Jose Garcia followed with an RBI groundout, and Luis Guillorme later added an RBI single.
But the Cards had a response, getting a clutch two-out two-run single down the left field line off the bat of Jesus Ustariz to make it 3-3. Godoy made a bid to put the Cards ahead, but his infield single turned into an out at the plate as Ustariz was nailed trying to sneak home.
Unfazed, the Mets added another go-ahead effort in the fifth inning. Godoy tried to pick a runner off third base, but his throw sailed into left field and Garcia scored to make it 4-3.
Still in battle-back mode, Chris Rivera tied the game with an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth.
Wilson and Jean Rodriguez each finished with three hits for the Mets, who banged out 13 as a team. Guillorme and Garcia each totaled two hits.
David Roseboom (1-0) was the winning pitcher in relief, working 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
Johnson City got two hits from Chris Rivera. Kevin Carlow (0-1) took the loss in relief, giving up five hits and three runs in one inning of work.comments powered by Disqus