Trailing 3-1, Kingsport scored three runs on four hits and two Bristol errors, along with a third-strike swinging wild pitch — that allowed the batter to reach first safely — in the bottom of the ninth on the way to a 4-3 victory over the Pirates at Hunter Wright Stadium.
WALK IT OFF
The K-Mets (7-7) pulled out the win when Scott Ota delivered a shot off the right-field fence that scored Tanner Murphy from third and ended a wild at-bat.
Cole Kleszcz, leading off the bottom half of the inning, struck out against reliever Oliver Garcia. However, the third strike got away from catcher Ethan Goforth, a Carson-Newman graduate from Greeneville, and Kleszcz reached first base safely.
Wilfred Astudillo followed with a single to put Kingsport runners on first and second. Murphy then delivered a hard hit down the first base line, and the ball was misplayed by Bristol first baseman Samuel Inoa — allowing the K-Mets to load the bases.
Cristopher Pujols singled into shallow left field and Kleszcz scored from third, cutting Bristol’s lead to 3-2. The K-Mets got another gift when Pirates left fielder Jean Eusebio dropped the ball while attempting to throw it back to the infield. Eusebio’s error allowed Matt O’Neill — in running for Astudillo — to score from third base and tie the game at 3-3.
Angel Manzanarez delivered a bunt single to load the bases again for Kingsport, and one out later Ota delivered the game-winner off the wall.
Kingsport went ahead 1-0 in the second inning when Jaylen Palmer tripled and then came home on a groundout by Kleszcz.
The score remained the same until the eighth when the Pirates (6-8) got a single from Eusebio, who later scored on a Joshua Bissonette single to tie the game at 1.
Then in the top of the ninth, Inoa homered over the left-field fence to put Bristol up 2-1.
The Pirates went ahead 3-1 before the frame ended when Francisco Acuna scored on a wild pitch.
BY THE NUMBERS
Astudillo finished 2-for-3 and Palmer was 2-for-4 to lead the K-Mets.
Eusebio went 3-for-4. Acuna finished 2-for-4 for the Pirates.
Jared Biddy picked up the win after throwing a third of an inning in his debut. Garcia (0-1) took the hard-luck loss.
RUBBER MATCH SET
The series-deciding game between the teams is set for Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
It’s Humana Senior Night at Hunter Wright. Fans ages 55 and older will receive general admission tickets for $3 as well as food specials.