GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- LHP Jacob Heatherly punched out a career-high eight, while 2B Jonathan Willems and pinch-hitter Justin Bellinger came through with the big knocks in the eighth, as the Greeneville Reds avoided the sweep, defeating the Johnson City Cardinals, 7-3, in front of 2,168 fans at Pioneer Park on Sunday evening.With the win, the Redlegs improved
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- LHP Jacob Heatherly punched out a career-high eight, while 2B Jonathan Willems and pinch-hitter Justin Bellinger came through with the big knocks in the eighth, as the Greeneville Reds avoided the sweep, defeating the Johnson City Cardinals, 7-3, in front of 2,168 fans at Pioneer Park on Sunday evening.
With the win, the Redlegs improved their overall record to 18-25. Johnson City's loss dropped them to 20-22 on the campaign.
Tied at three headed to the bottom of the eighth, 3B Claudio Finol (2-4, 2 R, RBI) started the inning with a single to right. After a sacrifice bunt moved the go-ahead run to second, Willems (2-4, R, 3B, 2 RBI) scorched a liner into the left-center field alley. The 19-year-old motored into third with an RBI triple, putting the Reds in front, 4-3.
Following a walk and a pop-up, manager Gookie Dawkins called on Bellinger (1-1, R, HR, 3 RBI) to pinch-hit. On a 2-2 pitch, the 22-year-old pounded an offering around the right-field foul pole for a three-run home run. The blast - his first of the season - put the Reds up four, 7-3.
LHP Jerry D'Andrea (1.0 IP, SO) entered - after RHP Manuel Cachutt (3.0 IP) retired all nine men he faced out of the bullpen - in the top of the ninth. The 22-year-old sat down the side in order to seal the victory.
Greeneville jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first. Finol and SS Miguel Hernandez (2-3, RBI) started the contest with consecutive singles and Willems followed with a knock through the box. Finol scored from second to put the Reds up 1-0.
Johnson City would tie the game in the fourth and take the lead briefly in the fifth. 3B Nolan Gorman (2-4, R, 2 RBI, SO) singled to start the fourth and 1B Leandro Cedeno (1-4, 2B, RBI, SO) drove him in with an RBI double off the center-field fence, tying it at one. An inning later, LF Andrew Warner (0-2, R, BB) walked and moved to third on a double by SS Michael Perri (1-3, R, 2B, SO). After a strikeout, Gorman roped a base-hit into center - driving in both men - to put Johnson City ahead, 3-1.
The Reds managed to tie it up in the bottom of the inning. C Rob Boselli (1-4, R, SO) and LF Brandt Stallings (1-3, R) slapped consecutive singles to start the rally and were sacrifice bunted to second and third. A ground out to third by Finol drew Greeneville within one, while Hernandez followed with a single through the left side to tie it at three.
Neither starter picked up a decision on Sunday. Heatherly (5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 8 SO) - in his first start since July 22 - lasted a season-long five innings and struck out a career-best eight for the Reds. LHP Colin Schmid (7.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, 6 SO) tossed seven innings of three-run ball in his start for Johnson City.
Cachutt (3.0 IP) retired all nine men he faced to earn his second win of the campaign, while RHP Juan Alvarez (1.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, BB) yielded all four runs in the eighth, suffering his second loss.
The Reds will head out to Bluefield to battle the Blue Jays on Monday to open up a six-game road trip. RHP Lyon Richardson (0-4, 7.36 ERA) - Cincinnati's No. 20 prospect according to MLB.com - is expected to make the start for Greeneville in the lid-lifter. The Jays are projected to counter with RHP Troy Watson (2-0, 1.29 ERA).
The G-Reds Pre-Game Show will kick off the broadcast at 6:50 p.m. ET, leading up to the 7:05 p.m. ET start at Bowen Field. Monday night's contest can be heard on GreenevilleReds.com or via the TuneIn Radio and MiLB First Pitch apps.
Following the six-game road trip, the Redlegs will begin a three-game series against the Elizabethton Twins on Sunday, August 12. It will be a Sunday Funday at the ballpark with first pitch scheduled for 5 p.m. ET.
Season and single-game tickets are still available and can be purchased online at GreenevilleReds.com or by calling the Reds' Ticket Office at (423) 609-7400.