PRINCETON — A two-run homer by Miguel Leal in the top of the eighth inning raised comeback hopes for the Kingsport Mets at Princeton Friday night.
Rally caps got knocked off into the dirt an eventful half-inning later and the Rays held off the K-Mets 9-3 in Appalachian League action.
Vincente Lupo got things started for Kingsport with his one-out groundball single to left. Leal was right behind him, cutting Princeton's lead to 5-3 with his jolt over the left-field fence against Rays reliever Kyle Bird.
The opportunity soured almost instantly for K-Mets reliever Connor Buchmann, who faced the first Princeton batter sent out in the bottom of the eighth.
Buchmann allowed consecutive singles to Blake Grant-Parks and Manny Sanchez. The runners advanced to third and second, respectively, on a wild pitch with Jose Paez batting.
While still pitching to Paez, the K-Mets pitcher was charged with a balk, scoring Grant-Parks.
Kingsport manager Jose Leger argued the call and was ejected by umpire Brock Balue.
The unruffled Paez singled to plate Sanchez and things quickly came unraveled for the K-Mets. The Rays knocked out two more singles, by Christian Toribio and Carter Burgess, Buchmann unloaded two more wild pitches and Princeton added two more runs.
Ismael Tijerina finally came on in relief to collect two outs and bring the implosive inning to a close.
Kingsport (5-4) had only four hits, one of which was allowed by Princeton starter Roel Ramirez (1-0). K-Mets starter Yoan Gonzalez (1-1) absorbed the loss, giving up three earned runs off five hits over five innings.
Hector Montes crushed a two-run homer for Princeton in the seventh that gave the home team a 5-1 lead.comments powered by Disqus