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Cards drop both ends of doubleheader in Bluefield

Johnson City Press • Jul 6, 2019 at 10:24 PM

BLUEFIELD, Va.—Limited to four hits in both ends of Saturday’s Appalachian League doubleheader at Bowen Field, Johnson City was bested 7-5 and 6-2 by Bluefield.

The teams played a pair of seven-inning contests.

The Cardinals (10-7) struggled on the defensive end in the first game of the day, committing five errors. Bluefield parlayed those mistakes into two unearned runs, which proved to be the difference.

It appeared Johnson City was going down in listless fashion, trailing 4-0 with two innings to play. The Cards, however, erupted for five sixth-inning runs to move in front, getting a Carlos Soler RBI double before Aaron Antonini teed off for a grand slam.

The Blue Jays (10-8), though, quickly retaliated, pushing across their final three runs in the bottom of the inning. After Miguel Hiraldo lined a two-run single to left field, Leonardo Jimenez stung a double to right — bringing home Eric Rivera from third.

Jimenez paced an 11-hit Bluefield output by going 3 for 3 with two doubles, plus he scored twice. Rivera (2 runs), Hiraldo (2 RBIs) and Ryan Sloniger contributed two hits apiece.

In the series finale, Bluefield was limited to five hits but rode a two-run Joseph Reyes home run in the second inning and Addison Barger’s fourth-inning grand slam to a 6-0 advantage.

Jays starter Jared DiCesare (2-0) hurled five shutout innings, yielding two hits, striking out five batters and walking none.

Soler and Diomedes Del Rio each banged out a double for Johnson City. They accounted for the team’s scoring during the sixth, crossing the plate when Todd Lott reached by error.

The Cards will play at Elizabethton today in a 5 p.m. game.

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