Johnson City felled by Bluefield, 6-1

Johnson City Press • Updated Aug 19, 2017 at 9:53 PM

BLUEFIELD, Va. — Touched for 15 hits Saturday night, Johnson City absorbed a 6-1 loss to Bluefield in a battle between playoff contenders.

Kevin Smith had three hits, including a double, for the Blue Jays (37-19), who used a three-run fifth to turn a one-run game into a 5-1 lead.

Charvez Young, Yorman Rodriguez, Ryan Noda, Ryan Gold and Jesus Navarro added two hits apiece to the victory.

Randy Ponder (3-1) pitched six good innings before Graham Sparker worked the final three for his seventh save of the year.

Julio Rodriguez was the lone Cardinals player with more than one hit, going 2 for 4 with his team’s lone RBI.

Thanks to Greeneville’s 11-3 loss to East Division frontrunner Pulaski, Johnson City (30-25) remains alone in second place in the West — 3 1/2 games behind Elizabethton. Pulaski leads Bluefield by a half game.

The top two teams from each division qualify for the playoffs.

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