JOHNSON CITY — After Wednesday night’s post-game fireworks at Hunter Wright Stadium were canceled because of rain, the Kingsport Mets put on a 4th of July Appalachian League fireworks display of their own.
The K-Mets exploded for 20 runs on 19 hits and overwhelmed the homestanding Johnson City Cardinals, 20-4, on Thursday.
Kingsport third baseman Pedro Perez had two homes runs and an amazing seven RBIs.
K-Mets’ designated hitter Joe Tuschak went 4-for-5 with two doubles, four runs scored and an RBI. Centerfielder Champ Stuart added a pair of doubles and drove in four runs. He also walked three times.
Jeyckol De Leon and Amed Rosario had three hits apiece for Kingsport while Michael Bernal had two hits including a solo homer in the eighth.
The action started early for Kingsport. The K-Mets (4-9) scored three runs in the second inning and added three runs in the top of the sixth to take a 6-1 advantage.
Then the flood gates opened.
Jeff Diehl led off the top of the seventh with a walk. De Leon singled and Diehl moved to second. A Tuschak single loaded the bases for Kingsport.
A wild pitch by Johnson City’s Norge Paredes brought Diehl home and advanced the runners to second and third.
Rosario walked loading the bases again. After Bernal struck out, Perez walk bringing in another run. Bradley Marquez singled uping the lead to 8-1. Stuart followed with a double, driving in two more runs.
The K-Mets kept the pedal to the metal with an RBI single from Jeff McNeill.
Diehl, batting for the second time in the seventh, was called out on strikes for the second out. De Leon reached on an error and Tuschak doubled, driving in a pair of runs.
When the final out was recorded in the inning, Kingsport had scored eight runs and had a 14-1 lead.
The Cardinals (7-6) scored a token run in the bottom half of the inning only to see Kingsport respond with a run of its own in the eighth to make the score 15-2.
Again, Johnson City responded, bringing two runners home to cut the deficit to 15-4.
In a five-run ninth inning, Bernal and Stuart both had two-run doubles to put the game on ice.
Luis Rengel (1-1) picked up the win for Kingsport, going three innings. He gave up no runs on three hits and struck out one.
Alexander Reyes (1-1) took the loss for Johnson City. He pitched four innings, allowing three earned runs on five hits and striking out seven.
All told, the Cardinals’ pitchers walked 12 K-Mets, gave up three home runs and 18 earned runs.
Kingsport continues its series with Johnson City tonight at 7 p.m.