Kingsport comes up short to open homestand

Nick Barnes’ second home run in three games not enough in Axmen loss

June 16th, 2021

KINGSPORT, TN — The Kingsport Axmen fell, 6-1, to the Elizabethton River Riders, extending their losing streak to four games Tuesday night in front of 1,247 fans at Hunter Wright Stadium.

The River Riders (5-5) struck first and never looked back.

Elizabethton broke the ice with a run in the third inning. Chase Adkison (Oklahoma State) lifted a flyball to rightfield, plating Reagan Guthrie (Regis) and putting the River Riders up, 1-0.

The visitors padded their lead in the fifth. Elizabethton brought nine batters to the plate and tallied four runs on five hits in the frame, including an RBI triple by Marcus Brown (Oklahoma State).

The Axmen (3-7) would cut into the deficit one inning later. Nick Barnes (Georgia Gwinnett) crushed his team-leading second home run in his third game. Barnes’ solo blast traveled an estimated 421 feet and left the bat at 106 mph.

Elizabethton tacked on an insurance tally in the ninth when Jonathan “Pepe” Soto (Rogers State) ripped a line drive to left, making it a 6-1 contest.

Axmen starting pitcher Peyton Carson (Missouri State) tossed four innings, surrendering just one run on one hit. The southpaw recorded five strikeouts but issued three walks, picking up his first loss of the season.

On the other side, River Riders’ hurler Drew Gillespie (Southeastern) spun a season-high four shutout innings, allowing only one hit in his third start of the season. Gillespie tallied seven strikeouts and lowered his earned-run average to 0.84.

Elizabethton’s bullpen was sharp. Right-handers Philip Berger, Jordan Leasure and Chase Lorg teamed up to pitch five innings, yielding just one run. Elizabethton’s pitching staff combined for 15 punchouts.

Kingsport faces Elizabethton for the fourth time this year on Wednesday. Fans that stop by the Goodwill booth Wednesday evening will receive a free game ticket with a donation, while supplies last. Fans who bring an item of clothing for donation receive two free tickets. First pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m. Fans can catch all Axmen games by visiting here.