It could be said Kingsport scraped by against Elizabethton on Wednesday night in Appalachian League baseball.
Kevin Scrape inherited a bases-loaded, nobody-out situation in the bottom of the eighth inning with a one-run lead. The Axmen’s 6-foot-3, 150-pound left-handed proceeded to strike out the next four batters and eventually closed the door for a two-inning save and a 4-3 victory for Kingsport at Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark.
Kingsport improved to 3-3 on the season while the River Riders slipped to 2-4.
The Axmen travel to play Greeneville on Thursday at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, the River Riders pay a visit to Johnson City.
THE END GAME
Elizabethton made a bid to retake the lead in the eighth inning. In the seventh, Axmen pitcher Brogan Beckner struck out three batters on 12 pitches. But Beckner started the eighth with three straight walks to load the bases.
However, Scrape entered and struck out three straight batters to end the threat and maintain the slim Kingsport advantage.
The Axmen made a comeback in the sixth inning. Trailing 3-1, they pushed across three runs to take the lead — and it all came with two outs.
Jordan Valera-Payne drove in a run with a single to make it 3-2. Kingsport added two more runs when a pop fly turned into an error.
Kingsport got on the board first with a run in the top of the second inning. Valera-Payne doubled and came home on Anthony Tulimero’s single.
Elizabethton bounced back in the third inning, taking a 2-1 lead thanks to a run-producing error and a bases-loaded walk.
For Kingsport, Valera-Payne and Tulimero each had two hits.
Jack Crowder earned the win on the mound, striking out six batters in three innings. He allowed four hits and one run.
For Elizabethton, Johnathan Soto totaled two hits. The River Riders managed only five hits and struck out 17 times against Kingsport pitching.