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Walking it off… River Riders take advantage of Fernandez’s single to down Greeneville

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR SPORTS EDITOR
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
The Elizabethton River Riders returned to Northeast Community Credit Union Ball Park on Thursday as they welcomed the Greeneville Flyboys to town looking to get back on the winning track after a Wednesday loss to Kingsport.

In a well-played ball game that came down to the final at-bat for the River Riders, a Robin Fernandez single in the bottom of the ninth sent Elizabethton to a walk-off victory over the Flyboys, 3-2.

The River Riders jumped out front in the bottom of the second inning with two out as Reagan Guthrie reached on a solid single to left field. Sam Thompson stepped to the dish and unleashed a shot for a double plating Guthrie.

Thompson tried to stretch the double into a triple but was thrown out to end the inning with the River Riders leading 1-0.

The game stayed that way until the bottom of the fifth when Elizabethton tacked on another solo run.

Fernandez singled to center field and when Greeneville center fielder Homer Bush couldn’t come up cleanly with the baseball, Fernandez advanced to second base.

After Guthrie was set down on a strikeout, Fernandez took third on a wild pitch and was driven home on a single by Thompson to go ahead 2-0.

The Flyboys finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the sixth inning as Darins Perry singled and took second on a wild pitch. A Jon Hogart single moved Perry to third base.

Jake Dacunto’s sacrifice fly to Thompson in left field allowed Perry to scamper home to slice the lead in half as Elizabethton held on to a 2-1 edge.

The score stayed that way until the top of the ninth when the Flyboys plated one run to even the score at 2-2.

Dacunto drew a two-out walk and worked his way around to score before Christian Ficca struck out to end the frame.

Needing a run to take the win in regulation, a leadoff Chase Adkinson single to left field put the River Riders in business. The Flyboys were able to retire Mario Zabala on a strikeout before Fernandez took a 1-1 pitch from Sam Peddycord and delivered a single that plated Adkinson for the win.

With the win, the River Riders ran their overall record to .500 at 6-6. Both teams squared off again on Friday evening.