photo: Hector Soto (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
With their backs against the wall, Johnson City came through with a convincing win in Game 2 of the Appalachian League Championship Series. Hector Soto’s mound effort and a balanced offensive attack were key. The deciding game is tonight.
Results from the game played Tuesday, September 3rd.
Hector Soto’s strong start led Johnson City (1-1) to a 7-2 victory at Burlington to even the best-of three Appalachian League Championship series at one game each.
Soto’s first postseason start and win consisted of 5 2/3 frames of three-hit ball in which the 20-year-old struck out six and issued two free passes. The effort came after the right-hander pitched in relief during the Appy Birds’ division-clinching victory on Friday. Soto threw 86 pitches on Tuesday, 54 for strikes, with four ground- and three fly- ball outs.
The native of Mexico handed a 5-0 lead over to John Witkowski, who stranded Soto’s final runner. Witkowski pitched the game’s balance, permitting two runs in the eighth on three of the four hits yielded in 3 1/3 innings.
The offense pounced on Royals’ starter Noah Murdock (L, 0-1) for four runs in the first, Murdock’s only inning of work. Jhon Torres smashed a two-run double scoring Chandler Redmond (hit by pitch) and Todd Lott (single), his only hit in five at bats. After a walk to Malcom Nunez followed by a wild pitch that advanced both runners, Carlos Soler singled up the middle to bring in Torres and Nunez.
The visitors added a fourth-inning tally when Lott’s two-out single drove in Aaron Antonini (single). Nunez capped the scoring with a two-run home run in the seventh that scored Torres (force).
Eight of nine starters in Johnson City’s balanced offense reached base via a hit or walk and five scored and/or drive in a run. Lott garnered three of his team’s eight hits, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and RBI. The only other JC-Card with a multi-hit effort was Soler, who singled and doubled in four at bats, knocking in two. Defensively, right fielder Soler was credited with an outfield assist at second.
Wednesday’s game: at Burlington (1-1) (KC), 6:30 pm ET/5:30 pm CT, Jake Sommers (0-0, 1.80)
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