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K-Mets erupt with six-run eighth, stun Pirates

By JOHNNY WILSON, Sports Correspondent • Aug 9, 2019 at 11:40 PM

BRISTOL, Va. — The Kingsport Mets rallied late Friday night at DeVault Stadium to earn a stunning 8-6 Appalachian League win over Bristol.

Kingsport (24-26) scored six runs in the top of the eighth inning to displace the Pirates (23-26) for third place in the league’s West Division.

The uprising made a winner of K-Mets right-hander Jender De Jesus, who threw four scoreless innings in relief of starter Cesar Loaiza. Nixon Silva picked up a save by getting the game’s final out under the gun.

BLOWING IT OPEN

Down 3-2 heading into the eighth, the K-Mets were mighty hard on second Bristol reliever Alex Roth, who recorded just two outs and was charged with five runs.

An RBI double by Cristopher Pujols tied the game at 3 before a two-run triple from Cole Kleszcz provided Kingsport with a 5-3 edge.

After a Tanner Murphy single plated another run, first-year pro Brett Baty ripped a two-run home run to left field on the first pitch he saw from Ryan Troutman, giving the K-Mets a sudden 8-3 advantage.

Roth was charged with the defeat and a blown save.

Pirates starter Tahnaj Thomas allowed two runs over the first five innings.

BUCS BATTLE BACK

Kingsport moved out to a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth when Pujols smoked a two-out double to score Jaylen Palmer, who had singled.

Bristol fought back in the bottom half, chasing Loaiza after the first three batters of the frame reached with base hits.

Chase Murray began the two-run rally with a single before Eli Wilson rocked an RBI double to tie it and Daniel Rivero followed with a run-scoring single up the middle to give the Pirates their temporary 3-2 lead.

DEADLOCKED AFTER ONE INNING

Each team scored in the first inning before either pitcher could work up a sweat.

The K-Mets jumped out to a 1-0 edge on an RBI double by Andres Regnault. The Pirates evened the count when a run-scoring single by Aaron Shackleford plated Jake Snider, who had led off with a single.

K-METS’ OFFENSIVE LEADERS

Pujols finished with three hits and two RBIs, and Baty, Palmer and Regnault each had two of the K-Mets’ 13 hits.

Kingsport committed four errors.

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE

A two-run Rivero single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth cut Bristol’s deficit to 8-6, but Silva struck out Jesus Valdez after walking Josh Bissonette to load the bases.

Rivero finished with two hits and three RBIs.

UP NEXT

The teams finish their four-game series Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at DeVault Stadium.

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