Kingsport Mets outfielder Joe Tuschak eyes the ball as he makes a running catch during Monday night’s rain-delayed Appalachian League game against the Elizabethton Twins at Hunter Wright Stadium in Kingsport. (Ned Jilton II photo)
KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Mets were able to get their offense in gear Monday evening at Hunter Wright Stadium.
Unfortunately for the K-Mets, their pitching went out of control in an 8-4 loss to the Elizabethton Twins.
Kingsport pitchers allowed only seven hits but ended up walking 11 batters in a game that started an hour late because of heavy rain in the area.
Three walks in the first inning contributed to two Twins runs, while walks in the third were responsible for the lead going to 4-1.
Elizabethton pushed the lead to 6-2 in the fifth and scored its final two runs in the sixth.
Kingsport’s runs all came via RBI singles: Jon Leroux in the first inning, Victor Cruzado in the third, Joe Tuschak in the sixth and Jeff Diehl in the seventh inning.
Leroux had the hot bat throughout the three-game series, going 3-for-5 on Monday and finishing the series with five RBIs. He seemed not to be bothered that his No. 33 jersey mysteriously disappeared earlier in the day, and he donned the No. 3 for the game.
Tuschak, Diehl and Cruzado each finished with two hits.
Kingsport outhit the Twins 12-7. In the first two games, the Mets totaled only nine hits.
Elizabethton’s Dereck Rodriguez led the Twins with a 2-for-4 effort. He also had two RBIs and scored a run.
First baseman Zach Granite walked four times in six plate appearances.
The loss kept the K-Mets at the bottom of the Appalachian League West Division standings with a 3-7 record.
Today is one of the four scheduled off days for the rookie season that stretches for 68 games.
On Wednesday evening, Kingsport is back at Hunter Wright to host the Greeneville Astros, who are currently riding a six-game winning streak. The K-Mets scheduled fireworks for the postgame Fourth of July celebration that night.
Kingsport and Greeneville play one game before the K-Mets head to Johnson City for a three-game series starting Thursday.