The Kingsport Mets put on one of their most impressive offensive displays of the season, hammring the Bristol Sox for 16 hits in an 11-4 victory Friday night at Hunter Wright Stadium.
All nine batters in the Kingsport lineup contributed to the hit parade, which finished just shy iof the 19-hit onslaught registered by the K-Mets on July 4 in a 20-4 victory at Johnson City.
Jeyckol De Leon had the best night individually. Batting out of the cleanup spot, De Leon had four hits with a run scored and three RBIs. De Leon doubled twice as part of his big game. The bottom of the lineup did well also. Michael Bernal also drove in three runs, capped by a solo home run to deep center in the sixth that concluded scoring for Kingsport. Eris Peguero had a triple and a double from the No. 9 hole.
The K-Mets took control of this game in the second inning, plating seven runs on seven hits and sending 13 men to the plate in the frame. Seven straight batters reached safely with two out, a barrage that chased Bristol starter Robinson Leyer after 1 2-3 innings of work. In total, the second inning onslaught gave Kingsport an 8-1 lead, more than enough run support for Brandon Welch. In his first appearance since getting promoted from the Gulf Coast League, Welch lasted six innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Welch finished his outing strong, retiring the side in order in his last three innings of work.
Edigilio Villasmil and Tyler Bashlor combined for three innings of scoreless relief to finish up. Better yet, Kingsport gained a game on the division-leading Greeneville Astros, and now trails Greeneville by 1 ½ games in the West. The top two games in the Appalachian League make the playoffs, and Kingsport is 2 ½ games up in second place with 23 games remaining in the regular season.
NOTES: Kingsport and Bristol play the rubber game of this three-game divisional series Saturday at 6 p.m. Persio Reyes (4-3, 3.35 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for the K-Mets. … De Leon, Jon Leroux, Amed Rosario, Bernal and Peguero all had multi-hit games.