KINGSPORT, Tenn.- Kingsport ended its three-game losing streak with a shutout win, 7-0, over the Princeton Rays Wednesday night in a game that was pushed up two hours because of lighting issues at Hunter Wright Stadium.
Despite the early start time, Kingsport (19-27) utilized a strong third inning to overpower Princeton (18-29) in the Game 1 win. The shutout victory was the second of the season for the K-Mets and the first since shutting out Pulaski 6-0 on July 13.
Following a quick two innings of scoreless baseball to begin the day, the Mets exploded in the bottom of the third to take a 6-0 lead off six hits in the frame.
Kevin Hall and Yeffry De Aza singled consecutively to put two on with now outs. Both came around to score on the first professional home run from Dan Hoy-a ball that drifted over the left field fence to hand Kingsport an early 3-0 lead. Four batters later, Dionis Pualino doubled in a pair down the right field line and then later came into to score himself on an RBI single from Wagner Lagrange.
Prior to the start of the third Princeton starter Joel Peguero (2-4) retired the first six batters he faced the begin the contest but allowed the first five to reach safely in the frame before handing the baseball over to reliever Ryan Askew to pick up the final two outs of the inning. The righty lasted only 2 1/3 innings surrendering six runs off five hits.
Princeton proceeded to face the minimum of the Kingsport order over the course of the next three innings before Lagrange struck again in the eighth with another RBI single. The score held true until the final out was made in the top of the ninth as the Mets ended its three-game losing streak with a 7-0 shutout victory over the Princeton Rays.
In his first appearance in a Kingsport Mets uniform, hurler Ryan Macaliff (1-0) picked up the win after tossing three scoreless innings of relief for starter Joe Cavallaro who pitched the first four innings of scoreless baseball while allowing only one hit. Billy Oxford pitched the final two innings of the shutout win.
Taking home the loss for Princeton was the starter Peguero following the third inning troubles. For the bats, the visitors managed only three hits on the night-all singles-as Michael Smith, Justin Bridgeman and Devin Davis provided the knocks.
Kingsport piled on nine hits to score seven runs, but no hit was bigger than Hoy's three-run shot that got the K-Mets on the scoreboard first. It was the first home run for Hoy on the season and it drove in three runs. Paulino and Lagrange each drove in two runs apiece in the win.
Game 2 of the series is set to begin Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. Right-handed pitcher Ezequiel Zabaleta is scheduled to make his ninth start of the season as coverage of the ballgame can be found on the Kingsport Mets Baseball Network beginning at 6:15 p.m. with the Braeden's Barbeque Pregame Show.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.