KINGSPORT, Tenn.- The Kingsport Mets outlasted the Bristol Pirates 11-8 Saturday nightt at Hunter Wright Stadium to secure its first series-sweep of the season in a back-and-forth affair that saw four lead changes and a combined eight pitchers throughout the night.
After trailing by two runs early on, Kingsport (18-24) scored seven unanswered runs in innings three and four before blowing the lead in the fifth. Bristol (9-34) plated six runs in the sixth to retake the lead before the Mets tied it in the bottom of the frame and pulled away for good in the two innings that followed.
The K-Mets picked up its firsts weep since sweeping Bristol in the final series of the 2016 season at Hunter Wright Stadium last season from August 30-Septemeber 1. The Mets have won three in-a-row since being swept at Elizabethton in the previous series.
Bristol jumped out in front first for the second time this series by taking advantage of consecutive singles to lead off the game. Following a wild pitch, runners were at second and third base as the runner at third, Yondry Contreras came into to score on an RBI ground out off the bat of Jason Delay. The run was the lone score of the inning for Bristol as they led the Mets early out of the gates.
The visitors added to the lead in the inning that followed when Nick Valaika sent a deep drive to center field with a runner at third base. The drive was hit well enough to bring in Kyle Watson who led off the frame with a walk. After an inning and a half, the Pirates held a 2-0 lead.
Kingsport finally answered in the bottom of the third frame as the home team tallied three runs off five hits in the frame. Five players drilled five singles in the third as two scored on a two-run knock from Raphael Gladu while the other was pated on a single from Dionis Paulino.
After three innings of play, the Mets held a 3-2 lead.
An inning later in the fourth, Kingsport added four more thanks to a two-run ground-rule double from Hansel Moreno, a sacrifice fly from Rigoberto Terrazas and an RBI single from Paulino. With a four-run inning off only two hits, the home team led by five runs at 7-2 after four innings at the ballpark.
The lead did not last long as the Pirates scraped across six runs in the top of the fifth thanks to three hits and an error defensively. 10 batters came to the plate in the frame while three batters walked in runners at one point or another. Ryan Peurifoy and Yondry Contreras also had RBI singles as the Pirates erased the five-run deficit to lead 8-7 midway through the sixth inning.
Down for the second time in the ballgame, the K-Mets did not falter as Kevin Hall launched his second home run of the season to lead off the inning and tie the game once again at eight runs apiece. The drive came after the six-run Pirates top of the frame and sailed well over the left-center field wall.
The inning that followed saw Terrazas score a run off a fielding error from Contreras in center field that put Kingsport back out in front 9-8. From there, the Mets scored two more runs off a two-run double from Anthony Dircoie in the seventh. Kingsport held on to win the back-and-forth affair 11-8 for its first series-sweep of the season.
Billy Oxford (2-1) picked up the win after pitching two innings of scoreless baseball while Drew Fischer (3-1) took home the loss after surrendering three runs off six hits in two innings on the mound. Edwin German (S, 1) pitched the final three innings of the ballgame to record his first save of the season. The right-handed hurler struck out four batters while not allowing a hit in the outing.
Kingsport, who pounded out 17 hits on the night during the 11-run effort, saw five players record multi-hit days, led by Terrazas, Paulino and Garay with three. Moreno, Gladu and Paulino all drove in two runs during the win while Hall's homer tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Kingsport will now hit the road to TVA Credit Union Ballpark in Johnson City, Tenn. and begin a three-game series against the Cardinals begin Sunday at 6:00 p.m. Coverage of the series can be found on the Kingsport Mets Baseball Network.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.