Cardinals come up just short against Bristol

Tanner Cook • Jul 18, 2019 at 11:12 PM

A few feet made the difference in Thursday night’s Appalachian League contest at TVA Credit Union Ballpark, where the Johnson City Cardinals fell 4-3 in the second game of the series to Bristol.

In the bottom of the ninth inning with the Cardinals (15-13) trailing 4-2 and Zach Jackson having already reached second base on a leadoff double, Jhon Torres stepped to the plate.

On a 2-1 count, Torres blasted a two-out bomb to left-center field and it looked as if he had tied the game with one mighty swing of the bat. However, the Dr. Enuf sign that sticks another 15 feet or so above the fence kept the baseball in play as it hit off the top of the sign and bounced back into play for an RBI double.

Malcolm Nunez would strike out on the next batter, stranding Torres at second with the tying run.


The Cardinals were guilty of six errors in the game and all of Bristol’s runs were unearned. Michael YaSenka was dealt his first loss of the season after pitching six innings and giving up four hits. He struck out seven Pirates (13-16), but he was also guilty of hitting three batters.

Twice he hit catcher Eli Wilson and nearly pegged him again in the head before the game went into a 40-minute rain delay in the seventh. It was the third time in the last two nights that Wilson had been hit by a pitch.

He had some words for YaSenka after being hit the second time and the players on both benches were at the top steps of each dugout.

Wilson got the last laugh for Bristol as he ended up scoring three of the four runs.

The errors started on the second play of the game when Mateo Gil made a wild throw to first trying to field a tough groundball. Gil was guilty of three errors by himself.


With nobody on, Liam Sabino jacked his fourth home run of the season during the second inning, going to deep-right center.

His homer answered the run that was scored by Bristol in the top half, when YaSenka made a bad throw to first trying to pick off Wilson, moving him to third. Wilson scored on Gil’s second error of the evening.


Thursday was “Strikeout Cancer Night” for the Cardinals and former MLB player Jason Motte was on the premises. Motte was a member of 2011 World Series championship St. Louis Cardinals, playing a key role after being converted from a catcher to relief pitcher.

In 2012, he led the National League with 42 saves. He played briefly with Johnson City after he was drafted in 2003.


Johnson City and Bristol will continue the series on Friday with first pitch slated for 6:30 p.m.

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