KINGSPORT, Tenn.- Darwin Ramos managed to escape a bases-loaded, no outs jam in the top of the ninth inning to retire Danville in Game 2 as the Kingsport Mets held on by a thread for the 5-4 win Sunday afternoon at Hunter Wright Stadium.
Leading by a run at 5-4 heading to the top of the ninth inning, Ramos was poised to slam the door shut after needing only seven pitches to record three outs in the eighth. Danville was trying to complete the comeback after scoring two runs in the top of the sixth inning to bring the score to 5-4.
Cristian Pache led off the frame with an infield single to deep short stop and then cruised to second base on a potential 4-6-3 double play ball off the bat of Ramon Osuna that was misplayed by K-Mets second baseman, Santo Marte.
With runners at first and second base and no outs, Marte again experienced a defensive mishap as a bunt off the bat of Carlos Martiniez was fielded by Ramos off the mound. When the pitcher turned to throw to first base, no one was covering the first base bag as both Ramos, catcher Scott Manea and first baseman Jeremy Wolf converged on the bunt attempt.
The bases were then loaded with nobody out and Danville looked poised to at least tie the ballgame in the minutes that followed. Ramos had other ideas as the right-hander sat down Elias Arias, Bradley Keller and Darien McLemore to end the game.
Arias flew out to shallow left field to record the first out of the inning and Keller followed with a strikeout looking on a 1-2 offering from Ramos that painted the outside part of the plate. With two outs and the bases still loaded, McLemore grounded out to deep short stop to end the game.
Overcome with excitement, Ramos pointed towards the sky and began celebrating with his teammates following three-straight outs that ended the game in a bases-loaded jam.
With the win, Kingsport (23-41) snapped a two game losing skid and forced a rubber match with Danville (30-32) Monday night at 7:00 p.m.
The Braves jumped on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning with an RBI single from McLemore.
Kingsport responded in the bottom of the frame following a run-scoring double from Manea and an RBI fielder's choice from Marte to give the K-Mets their first lead off the contest at 2-1 after two innings.
Danville tied it once more at two runs apiece in the top of the third when Pache crossed home plate on a wild pitch from Kingsport's starting pitcher, Sixto Torres. The K-Mets answered right back in the bottom of the frame when Reed Gamache drove in William Barring with an infield hit to the short stop.
With a 3-2 lead an inning later, Kingsport added two more runs in its favor when Raphael Ramirez and Gamache both tallied RBI singles in the frame. The K-Mets then had a 5-2 lead heading to the fifth inning.
In the top of the sixth, Trent Johnson came onto relieve Torres and did so by surrendering two runs off four hits. Danville did, however, strand two runners on the base paths as Kingsport narrowly held to escape the frame still leading by one run.
The score would remain the same at 5-4 in favor of the K-Mets until game's end when Ramos worked himself out of the bases-loaded, no outs jam to preserve the win.
Torres (2-4) picked up the win although the southpaw did not have his best stuff on the day. The left-handed pitcher tossed five innings of six-hit baseball, surrendering two runs and four strikeouts. Johnson tallied two innings of two-run baseball while Ramos picked up the two-inning save in a scoreless eighth and ninth frames.
Jaret Hellinger (2-4) took home the loss after completing only 3.2 innings in the start. The right-hander surrendered five runs off seven hits and while tallying five strikeouts in the outing.
Kingsport managed just five runs off 14 hits on the night, but five players were able to record multiple hits in the game. Ricardo Cespedes and Jose Miguel Medina led the way with three hits apiece while Gamache drove in two runs in the win.
Game 3 of the series is set for Monday night at 7:00 p.m. from Hunter Wright Field. Catch all the action on the Kingsport Mets Baseball Network beginning at 6:45 p.m. at kmets.com or on TuneIn.