(WJHL) – Appalachian League baseball returned to the Tri-Cities on Tuesday night, as a pair of local squads opened their gates for the home fans.
In Johnson City, WJHL’s own Chris McIntosh tossed out one of the ceremonial first pitches ahead of the Doughboys’ opener, which set a new attendance record with 4,254 fans.
Despite a quiet start to the game, the home squad wracked up some series runs in the second half of the contest, defeating the Greeneville Flyboys, 14-1.
Justin Guiliano and Kevin Matos combined to throw 6.0 scoreless innings for Johnson City, allowing just three hits. Matos picked up the win, while tossing a pair of strikeouts.
Science Hill grad, Caleb Marmo, felt right at home in TVA Credit Union Ballpark. The centerfielder had a team-best three RBI, while also drawing two walks.
Standout ETSU freshman, Cody Miller, finished 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Greeneville native and Milligan Buff, Braden Spano, also accounted for two hits and a pair of RBI.
The Doughboys will travel to Greeneville on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. first pitch.
The Kingsport Axmen began their Appalachian League championship defense in Elizabethton on Tuesday.
However, it was the home team that jumped out to a quick 6-1 advantage, and held on to grab the 9-7 victory.
Five different River Riders batters chipped in an RBI, including Ryan Weingartner and Kerry Herndon-Brown, who each had two.
Tennessee Vol, Turner Swistak, pitched a solid 4.0 innings for Elizabethton, allowing just one run on three hits. Gabriel Barrett earned the win on the mound, despite allowing a pair of runs in 2.0 innings of work.
Walters State product, Deniel Ortiz, led the Axmen on offense, going 2-for-3 with 3 RBI and a pair of runs scored. ETSU’s Ryan McCarthy also drove home a run in his season debut.
Kingsport will host Elizabethton on Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
The Bristol State Liners opened their season on the road, thrashing the Princeton WhistlePigs, 16-6. The two teams will play again in Princeton on Wednesday at 6 p.m.