BURLINGTON, NC — After trailing early, the Kingsport Axmen didn’t leave Burlington without a fight.
Kingsport rallied for a run in the penultimate frame, cutting the deficit in half, but ultimately dropped Sunday’s seven-inning game, 2-1, to the Burlington Sock Puppets.
The Axmen (12-19) put the tying run 90 feet away and the go-ahead tally in scoring position, but Burlington’s pitcher knocked down a screaming liner to keep the Sock Puppets (12-17-2) in front.
Rightfielder Nick Barnes pulled Kingsport within one with a two-out single, plating Orlando Salinas, Jr. Jordan Varela-Payne followed with a base hit, pushing Barnes to second. A wild pitch advanced both runners but Burlington starter Sergio Patsy (3-3) flashed the leather to escape the jam.
Kingsport outhit the Sock Puppets, 6-4, led by Connor Milton’s multi-hit performance.
With the exception of two pitches, Adam Parra (3-1) kept the Axmen in it on the mound. The right-hander tossed 3 2/3 innings in his first Appalachian League start, surrendering a pair of solo shots. Nick Houghton shined across 2 1/3 innings in relief, totaling only 35 pitches.
Kingsport returns home to Hunter Wright Stadium for a two-game set against the Greeneville Flyboys. The series opener begins at 7 p.m. Monday.