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India’s bat comes to life as Greeneville fends off K-Mets 5-4

By KEVIN MAYS [email protected] • Jul 12, 2018 at 10:57 PM

KINGSPORT — The Reds’ No. 1 draft pick lived up to his billing Thursday.

Jonathan India was hitless in his first 16 at-bats with Greeneville. However, the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s Major League Baseball draft made some noise with his bat against the Kingsport Mets in the Reds’ 5-4 win at Hunter Wright Stadium.

BREAKING THE SLUMP

India, who did walk six times in his first 16 plate appearances at Greeneville (7-14), finished 3-for-4 with a walk and three RBIs in the Reds’ win.

The 21-year-old India, from Coral Springs, Fla., doubled in the first inning, drilled a two-run home run over the right-field fence in the third inning and singled and drove in two more runs in the fourth. He also scored the game-winning run in the Reds’ three-run fourth.

“I’m finally getting some games under my belt now as a professional. So I look now to carry it over to some following games,” India said of his Thursday performance.

India said he’s hoping to continue to improve during his tenure at Greeneville.

“I’m here to get some reps because I haven’t seen a lot of pitching in three weeks. So I’m trying to get my reps in and trying to get my timing back and improve and see where I go,” he said.

WILLEMS STRONG AGAIN

Greeneville’s Jonathan Willems had another strong night for Greeneville.

After hitting for the cycle in an earlier game against the K-Mets, Willems delivered two RBIs for the Reds on a fourth inning double.

Miguel Hernandez had three hits, while Hunter Oliver, Reniel Ozuna and Brian Rey delivered two hits each as part of Greeneville’s 15-hit barrage.

K-METS KEEP IT CLOSE

Despite giving up double-digit hits, the K-Mets made the most of their eight hits by scoring four runs, including two homers.

After Mark Vientos scored on an error in the second inning for Kingsport (12-9), Shervyen Newton smacked a solo homer in the bottom of the third.

The K-Mets picked up a couple of more runs in the seventh on a two-run smash from Mets No. 1 pick and MLB overall sixth pick Jarred Kelenic. But that was as close as the K-Mets could get.

PITCHING STATS

Greeneville’s Alex Diaz (2-0) picked up the win for the Reds.

Diaz gave up 2 runs on three hits with seven strikeouts and three walks in five innings of work.

Connor Bennett, making his debut for Greeneville, threw the final two innings to pick up the save.

Kingsport starter Nate Peden (1-1) took the loss for the K-Mets.

Peden surrendered five runs on nine hits with two strikeouts, one walk and one hit batter.

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