Kingsport Times-News: Bristol jumps out to early lead, holds on to beat K-Mets 7-4
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Bristol jumps out to early lead, holds on to beat K-Mets 7-4

Kevin Mays • Jul 4, 2019 at 12:43 AM

KINGSPORT — Bristol gained the momentum early Wednesday and never lost it until the final inning.

The Pirates scored in the opening frame and never trailed on the way to a 7-4 Appalachian League win over the Kingsport Mets at Hunter Wright Stadium.

With the win, Bristol (7-8) won the series 2-1 over the K-Mets (7-8).

It marked the third straight series win for the Pirates, the first time Bristol has achieved that feat since 2016.

STRONG START

Daniel Rivero did the damage early at the plate for Bristol by leading off the game with a single to right field.

After stealing second base, Rivero scored on a double from Aaron Shackelford.

The score stayed 1-0 until the fourth inning when the Bucs tacked on three runs on five hits, including a solo home run from Shackelford to lead off the frame.

Shackelford and Ernny Ordonez scored two more runs in the fifth inning on an RBI-single from Josh Bissonette and a sacrifice fly from Francisco Acuna to put the Pirates up 6-0.

Mariano Dotel scored Bristol’s final run in the game after smacking a one-out double in the eighth inning.

Dotel later scored from third when Chase Murray grounded out to put the Pirates up by seven.

BIG FINISH

After being shut out for eight innings, Kingsport (7-8) got on the scoreboard in the ninth inning with a four-run rally.

Scott Ota doubled to start off the inning for Kingsport.

Mets 2019 No. 1 draft pick Brett Baty, playing in his first game for Kingsport, followed with a walk. A wild pitch then allowed Ota to move to third, while Baty moved up to second.

Ota scored for Kingsport on a single from Jaylen Palmer.

The K-Mets then loaded the bases when Cole Kleszez drew a walk, and a single from Cristopher Pujols scored Baty to cut the Bristol lead to 7-2.

Kingsport narrowed the margin to 7-3 when Palmer scored on a passed ball.

A ground out to first base from Matt O’Neill scored Kleszez from third to trim the Bristol advantage to three runs.

The rally ended when Angel Manzanarez popped out to first base.

STRONG ON THE MOUND

Bristol starter Jose Maldonado (2-1) picked up the win after throwing a solid five innings.

The 20-year-old right-hander held Kingsport scoreless and gave up only two hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

Kingsport’s Benito Garcia (0-1) took the loss. The K-Mets starter worked three and one-third innings, giving up four runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and one walk.

AT THE PLATE

Bristol had five different players with two hits in the 11-hit attack.

Shackelford finished with a home run, a double and two RBIs, while Dotel and Bissonette each had two hits and an RBI.

Bristol also got two hits from Rivero and Ordonez.

Kingsport’s Palmer finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.

UP NEXT

Both teams will celebrate Independence Day on baseball diamonds Thursday with Kingsport playing at Elizabethton and Bristol traveling to Greeneville.

First pitch for both games is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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