Ota went 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs to lead the K-Mets to a 7-5 Appalachian League win over the Elizabethton Twins at Hunter Wright Stadium.
Ota’s homers over-shadowed a four-home run performance from Elizabethton (23-22).
All four Twins home runs, two from Will Holland, and one each from Parker Phillips and Kidany Salva were solo shots.
TWINS STRIKE FIRST
Elizabethton’s only run that did not come by a solo homer was the first one of the game.
Charles Mack led off the game with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch, and later scored on an RBI single from Willie Garry Jr.
All of Elizabethton’s other runs came courtesy of the homer.
Phillips smacked a shot in the fourth, Salva had one in the top of the ninth and Holland added one in the sixth and one in the ninth for the Twins.
RUNS IN BUNCHES
Kingsport (21-24) scored multiple runs in three innings, including three runs in the fourth inning when Brett Baty led off the frame with a double and moved to third on a single from Francisco Alvarez.
Baty then scored on a sacrifice fly from Jaylen Palmer.
Ota followed with his first of two homers to put the K-Mets up 3-2 and their first lead of the contest.
After Elizabethton tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the sixth, Kingsport responded in the bottom of the frame to take the lead for good.
Palmer singled to start off the inning and then later scored on double from Ota.
Ota then scored on an RBI single from Wilfred Astudillo.
The K-Mets added to their advantage in the bottom of the eighth when Palmer, who finished the game going 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored, led off with a double.
Ota then homered over the right-field wall to put the K-Mets up by four runs.
CLOSE TO THE FINISH
Kingsport needed the two extra runs it got in the eighth inning.
Holland led off the top of the ninth with a solo shot. One out later Salva came up with a big swing to cut the lead to 7-5 before K-Met closer Reyson Santos retired the next two batters to finish off the game.
BY THE BOOK
In addition to big nights from Ota and Palmer at the plate, Kingsport got a 2-for-4, one-RBI effort from Astudillo.
Elizabethton’s Charles Mack finished 2-for-4 at the plate for the Twins.
Kingsport pitcher Brendan Hardy (2-1) came in from the bullpen and picked up the win after giving up one run one hit with two walks and no strikeouts in two innings of work.
Denny Bentley (2-2) took the loss for the Twins on the mound. He worked two innings in relief, giving up two runs on three hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
Game two of the three game series is scheduled for Tuesday when Kingsport hosts the Twins at Hunter Wright Stadium.
First pitch is slated for 6:30 p.m.