6/30/12

Bluefield 12, Kingsport 3

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The Kingsport Mets got wild on Friday night. Four K-Met hurlers combined for five wild pitches five walks and four hit batsmen as the Bluefield Blue Jays rolled to a 12-3 victory at Hunter Wright Stadium. Bluefield's win sets the stage for a rubber game between the two squads Saturday evening at 6 p.m.
A substantial crowd braved the hottest temperature ever recorded in Kingsport in the month of June -- 104 degrees at first pitch -- to see local standout Daniel Norris take the mound for Bluefield. Norris a native of nearby Johnson City, was the Jays' second-round pick in last year's draft. He worked four innings allowing two runs -- one earned -- on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts. He needed just 61 pitches to get through the four frames.
Kingsport, meanwhile, had each of its pitchers battling control issues. Starter Christian Montgomery got into deep trouble in the top of the fourth, allowing four straight men to reach base on two hits and two walks, also throwing two wild pitches. Montgomery ended up being responsible for Bluefield's first six runs, five of which were earned./p>
The three K-Met relievers -- Matthew Budgell, Edioglis Villasmil and Ramon Estevez -- didn't fare much better. Each either threw a wild pitch or hit a batter. Budgell and Estevez did both. The game turned into a total rout in the late innings after Estevez gave up three runs in the eighth that made it a 12-3 ballgame.
Each of the top four batters in the Bluefield lineup and six of the top seven tallied at least one run scored and one RBI in the game. All 10 Blue Jays batters that took hacks either crossed the plate or drove in a run. Dwight Smith Jr., the son of the former Major League outfielder had a good night out of the leadoff spot, with a solo home run in the seventh highlighting a 2-for-5, two-RBI, two-run performance.
Eris Peguero continued his hot start to the Appalachian League season and looks to be a fixture at the top of the lineup. Batting leadoff, Peguero went 2-for-5 and has hit safely in four straight games and 10 of 11 on the season. Tomas Nido and Pedro Perez also contributed two base hits for the K-Mets, although both had their issues in the field as well.
NOTES: Griffin Murphy ended up picking up the win for Bluefield. He worked three innings of relief after Norris left the game. ... Robert Gsellman (1-0) is scheduled to start for Kingsport. His six-inning effort last Sunday against Greeneville remains the most complete pitching performance thus far this season for the K-Mets. He'll go against Deivy Estrada, who is also 1-0 but has a 10.80 ERA.

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