Despite benefitting from some dominant pitching on the mound, Johnson City fell on the road Saturday night, 2-0, in Burlington.
Johnson City’s Carlos Nolasco and Marques Johnson combined for 14 strikeouts and just one walk, allowing just two runs on four hits, but did not get any run support from a cold Doughboys lineup.
The result finishes the Johnson City-Burlington series this summer at one win, one tie, and two losses for the Doughboys.
The previous high for strikeouts in a game this season for Nolasco was two, but he pounded the zone to the tune of eight punchouts on Saturday. The Sock Puppets (17-29-2) tagged Nolasco for one run in the second inning and one run in the fifth inning before Johnson replaced the right-handed starter in the fifth with two outs and the bases loaded.
With the pressure at a fever pitch, Johnson struck out All-Star center fielder Benji Gilbert to keep the deficit at just two runs.
Johnson finished out the game for the Doughboys, ending his night after 3 ⅓ innings with no hits, no runs, no walks, and six strikeouts.
Four Sock Puppets combined for the complete-game shutout on the mound, with Nick Gottilla leading the charge and earning the win after six innings with four strikeouts. Brady Huddlestun earned the save, tossing a scoreless ninth inning.
The Doughboys might have had their best chance to rally in the eighth inning when Ricky Jimenez doubled down the left-field line with two outs to put the tying run at the plate in the form of All-Star first baseman Joe Vetrano. However, Vetrano lined out to center field to end the threat.
Johnson City is now 2-3 on the current six-game road trip, with one more game to play. The Doughboys next travel to Greeneville to face the first-place Flyboys at Pioneer Park on Sunday evening. First pitch in the seven-inning contest is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
Fans can access live radio coverage of every Doughboys game this summer by visiting: https://www.mlb.com/appalachian-league/johnson-city/fans/audio-listen-live.