Late charge leaves Cardinals one run shy

Johnson City Press • Updated Jun 21, 2018 at 11:17 PM

BLUEFIELD, Va.—Bluefield was in total command heading into the top of the eighth inning.

From there, Johnson City forced the Blue Jays into a hang-on-for-dear-life situation.

With the Cardinals scoring four times in each of the last two innings Thursday night, Bluefield escaped with an 11-10 Appalachian League decision.

An eighth-inning, run-scoring double off the bat of Otto Lopez gave the Jays (2-1), who amassed 21 hits, the extra tally needed to withstand Johnson City (1-2) at the end.

In the Redbirds’ half of the eighth, a three-run Carlos Soto home run was immediately followed by Sanel Rosendo’s solo blast.

Down 11-6 entering the ninth, JC got a bases-loaded walk from Jonatan Machado and scored off a wild pitch before pinch-hitter Dariel Gomez stroked a two-run, two-out single.

Bluefield closer Sean Rackoski then induced a Brian Sanchez groundout to end the three-game series.

Johnson City totaled 10 hits, with Zach Jackson (two doubles) and Machado (2 runs) each going 2 for 4. Michael Perri contributed three runs while Donivan Williams had a hit, two runs and a pair of walks.

Bluefield’s Alejandro Kirk batted 4 for 5 with a double and three RBIs. D.J. Neal (double, triple, 3 runs) and Dominic Abbadessa (double, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) each went 3 for 5.

Davis Schneider clubbed a two-run homer for the Jays. Schneider, Lopez (double, 2 runs), Jose Theran, Jesus Severino and Andrew Guerra recorded two-hit performances.

Claudo Galva (1-0) yielded two runs on four hits and totaled four strikeouts in a five-inning start. The last of six Jays pitchers on the night, Rackoski collected the final two outs — allowing no runs — for his first save.

Redbirds starter Junior Gonzalez (0-1) was chased after 3 2/3 innings of work from the mound. He surrendered seven runs before Juan Alvarez went the rest of the way.

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