Johnson City’s Nolan Gorman scored from third base on a wild pitch from Kingsport’s Marbin Montijo in the top of the 10th inning Friday to lift the Cardinals (4-5) to a 7-6 win at Hunter Wright Stadium.
The loss was the first of the season for Kingsport (7-2) on its home field. Both its losses have been at the hands of Johnson City.
ENDING WITH A TWIST
The extra-inning win came with a twist, especially for baseball purists.
This season marks the first time in the minor league ranks that a designated runner is put on second base to start the inning when the game goes into extras.
The rule is an experiment by Major League Baseball that Johnson City manager Roberto Espinoza thinks will make its way to the big leagues.
“It’s something that MLB is doing and, well, we have to deal with it,” Espinoza said. “It helps with pitchers and it gives the hitters a key situation. It’s great.”
RUNNING THE BASES
The extra runner on base worked well for the Cardinals.
Gorman started the inning on second and moved to third when Brandon Riley grounded out to second for the second out of the inning.
Montijo then uncorked the wild pitch that allowed Gorman to score the eventual winning run.
With Johnson City’s David Oca (1-1) working on the mound, Yoel Romero started on second base for the K-Mets in the bottom of the 10th.
Shervyen Newton flew out to right to allow Romero to tag up and move to third.
Thomas Parsons then came on in relief of Oca to shut the door on Kingsport and pick up his first save of the season.
BUT FIRST, LOTS OF OFFENSE
Both teams produced runs and hits throughout the game. Johnson City finished with 12 hits and Kingsport had 10.
The Cardinals’ Leandro Cedeno provided four hits in five plate appearances. He also scored two runs.
Jonatan Machado finished 2-for-4 and Moises Castillo and Kevin Woodall each had solo home runs for Johnson City.
Kingsport had two solo homers of its own, a shot from Anthony Dirocie in the fourth and a game-tying shot from Gavin Garay in the seventh.
Dirocie was 4-for-4 with two RBIs for the K-Mets and Garay finished 2-for-4 with a couple of RBIs.
The teams play again Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Hunter Wright Stadium for the deciding third game of the series.