The Cardinals set season-best marks in a 12-6 Appalachian League win over the Kingsport Mets at Hunter Wright Stadium.
First-round pick Nolan Gorman produced his own highlight reel for Johnson City.
Gorman, the 19th overall pick by the St. Louis Cardinals in this year’s Major League Baseball draft, powered out two home runs: a two-run shot in the first inning and another two-run blast in the seventh.
“The biggest thing about this team right now is that we don’t give up,” said Gorman, who was drafted out of Sandra Day O’Connor High School in Phoenix. “We’re in there no matter what the count is and to be able to do that, it’s going to lead to success.”
Gorman’s two home runs were part of a season-high five for Johnson City in the victory over the West Division-leading K-Mets (7-3).
Appy League roundup (June 30)
The Cardinals (5-5) also recorded a season-high 16 hits, including three each from Jonatan Machado, Kevin Woodall and Carlos Soto.
The three also homered: Machado blasted a three-run shot in the fifth, Woodall had a solo blast in the fifth and Soto smacked a solo homer in the fourth.
Adding to the Cardinals’ offensive attack, Michael Perri went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Moises Castillo went 2-for-5 and scored two runs.
All three games of the teams’ three-game set — which the Cardinals won 2-1 — were high-scoring affairs, and the teams combined to score 41 runs over the series.
“That team can really hit,” Gorman said of the K-Mets. “And we’ve matched them the last two days. And we came out on top in the last two games and took the series. That’s a good sign.”
K-METS HIT BACK
Kingsport’s offense was not exactly dormant Saturday, rapping out eight hits, but the K-Mets simply couldn’t match the Cardinals’ run production.
Luis Santana went 2-for-3 and hit a solo home run in the first.
Anthony Dirocie kept up his hot pace by going 2-for-4 including a two-RBI triple.
ON THE MOUND
K-Mets starter Noah Nunez took the loss. Nunez (1-1) gave up 10 hits and eight runs — all earned — with three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. The Cardinals tagged him for four of their homers.
Kyle Leahy took the mound to start the bottom of the fourth and pitched four innings for Johnson City. Leahy (1-0) scattered four hits and allowed three runs, none of them earned, to pick up the win. He struck out four.