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Johnson City pulls out tight game at Elizabethton

Tanner Cook • Updated Aug 9, 2019 at 10:49 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Posting an 8-7 victory on Joe Mauer bobblehead night, Johnson City managed to even its series with Elizabethton in Friday’s action at Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark.

The Cardinals now have a two-game lead on the E-Twins in the Appalachian League West Division standings.

Todd Lott’s three-RBI night combined with some timely defensive plays put the Cardinals over the top.

RALLY KILLERS

Cardinals pitchers did not have a particularly good night on the mound, but when Elizabethton was threatening in the later innings, they limited the damage.

In the fifth, Charles Mack led off the inning with a triple, but Wilberto Rivera was able to get out of it with three consecutive outs.

In the eighth, Mack again led off the inning and this time delivered a single. However, the next three batters were retired in order by Walker Robbins.

The last escape act by Johnson City’s pitchers came in the eighth when Robbins again got out of a runner-on-first-base situation with an unassisted double play by Lott that ended one of the final hopes for Elizabethton.

EXTRA-BASE HITS GALORE

There were seven extra-base hits, including three triples, between the two teams. Lott and Liam Sabino had the three-baggers for the Cardinals.

JC’s William Jimenez and Elizabethton’s Willie Joe Garry Jr. each clubbed a two-run home run.

Overall, Elizabethton had 12 hits and Johnson City eight in the wild contest.

Elizabethton’s Matt Wallner added to his league-leading doubles total with a two-bagger in the third inning. It was his 16th of the season.

As many runs and as much offense as there was, there could have been more. Elizabethton left eight runners stranded while JC stranded seven.

FOR THE PITCHERS

Wilfredo Rivera recorded his first win of the season in two innings of work and two strikeouts. John Witkowski got his second save of the season after pitching a scoreless ninth.

Falling to 2-3, Denny Bentley picked up the loss for Elizabethton.

UP NEXT

The Twins and Cardinals will resume the series at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday at Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark. It will be Star Wars night at the park.

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