KINGSPORT — Starter Cole Hales pitched five strong innings for the Kingsport Axmen, who closed their Appalachian League baseball season by edging the Tennessee Stix 3-2 in a seven-inning exhibition game Saturday night at Hunter Wright Stadium.
Holding the Stix scoreless, Hales yielded a pair of hits and issued one walk. He struck out seven.
Kingsport took a 2-0 lead in the second inning when Blake Scott produced a sacrifice fly and Logan Harbin scored on a wild pitch. Another wild pitch, this one in the fourth, enabled Harbin to again scamper home for a three-run Axmen advantage.
The Stix — a team out of the Sweetwater-based STIX Baseball and Softball Academy — got both their runs in the seventh. Eli Painter banged out an RBI double before a wild pitch pushed across Evan Maples.
Brock Browning, the last of four Kingsport pitchers, then entered to induce a game-ending groundout.
Tennessee’s Levi Massengill was the lone player with multiple hits, going 2-for-3. The Axmen’s Preston Steele stole three bases.
Kingsport’s season-ending series with Bristol was canceled when the State Liners entered COVID-19 protocols.