The Johnson City Doughboys scored 12 runs in the first inning and never looked back, getting their first home win of the summer with a 16-8 victory over the Elizabethton River Riders on Thursday night.
Seventeen Doughboys came to the plate in the opening frame and saw 74 pitches in what was a 45-minute inning. Cherokee Nichols started off the offensive onslaught in the first inning with an RBI double, his league-leading seventh double of the summer. Ashton King, Conner James, Stephen Ondina, Damani Thomas, and Jaxson Crull also all drove in runs with hits in that first inning.
Despite a boisterous crowd announced at 3,033, Elizabethton (2-5), was not going to roll over. Trailing 12-0 in the second inning, D.J. Sullivan hit a home run over the left field fence to spark a seven-run spurt and put the River Riders within five.
Yet, thanks to some stellar pitching out of the bullpen for Johnson City (4-3), Elizabethton would never seriously threaten after that big second inning.
Steven Casey (W, 1-0), worked three scoreless innings in relief and notched three strikeouts, paving the way for good nights from fellow pitchers Gianluca Shinn and Andrew Ronne.
On offense, every Doughboy in the lineup picked up a hit. Johnson City also worked 17 walks in the game, including six straight with two outs in the sixth inning to score three runs.
Johnson City will remain home Friday night and face Elizabethton again to wrap up the series. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.
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