JOHNSON CITY, TENN.- The Burlington Royals were defeated by the Johnson City Cardinals 11-6 in game two of the Appalachian League Championship Series on Wednesday night at TVA Credit Union Ballpark. With the win, the Cardinals complete a series sweep and take home the 2016 Appalachian League Championship.
Burlington struck first with a pair of runs in the first inning. A pair of singles by 2B Gabriel Cancel and DH Chris DeVito put two in scoring position with two out, as DeVito took second on a throw. A passed ball allowed Cancel to score, while DeVito scored immediately after on an fielding error.
The Cardinals scored three in the second inning to take the lead. C Andrew Knizner singled to begin the inning, while DH Joshua Lopez drew a walk. 3B Bryce Denton stepped up and doubled the pair home, later taking third on a wild pitch. LF DeAndre Asbury-Heath hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Denton.
RF Matt Fiedler singled in the third for Johnson City, and stole second. He came around to score on an RBI single by Lopez.
Burlington LF Jonathan McCray hit the first of his two home runs in the fourth, a solo shot to trim the lead to 4-3. The score remained at 4-3 until the seventh, when Royals SS Nicky Lopez led off with a single, was sacrificed to second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly by RF Kort Peterson.
The tie was short lived, as the Cardinals busted the game open with five runs in the bottom of the seventh. CF Shane Billings walked, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on an RBI double by 2B J.R. Davis. Davis, who advanced to third on an error on the play, came home on a sacrifice fly by SS Allen Cordoba. Fiedler and Knizner each singled, coming home on Denton's second big hit of the night, a three-run home run to left field.
Two more Johnson City runs scored in the eighth. Billings singled, and Davis reached on an error behind him. After a fielder's choice put men at the corners with one out, the duo of Fiedler and Knizner struck again with consecutive RBI singles.
McCray homered again to lead off the ninth, and Lopez would score on another sacrifice fly by Peterson, but it was too little, too late for the Royals.
- Cancel and McCray had two hits each, accounting for half of the Royals' eight hits.
- McCray's home runs, when added to his regular season total, give him nine for the season, matching him with Chris DeVito for the team lead.
- Johnson City wins their second league title in three years, having also won in 2014.
Johnson City 11, Burlington 6
WP: Yeison Medina (1-1)
LP: Ofreidy Gomez (0-1)
HR: BUR- Jonathan McCray 2 (2); JC- Bryce Denton (1)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.