The Kingsport Axmen wrapped up their four-game homestand with a victory, defeating Johnson City, 6-4, on Sunday at Hunter-Wright Stadium.
In a seven inning affair, the Johnson City Doughboys (1-2) jumped out to an early 4-1 lead thanks to a pair of long balls by Cherokee Nichols and Damon Cox.
The Axmen (1-3) led early in each of their three losses, so trailing early proved to be the recipe to their first win of the 2021 Appy League season. Kingsport pulled within one in the second inning after Will Spears smoked a two-run ground-rule double.
The Axmen loaded the bases with one out in the fourth inning. After Hunter Fitz-Gerald went down on strikes, MJ Rodriguez continued his hot streak at the plate with a bases-clearing go-ahead double that would wind up being the game-winner. Kingsport now has 26 runs scored in their four games this season.
Pitching late in games had been shaky for the Axmen through their first three contests, but the bullpen was nearly perfect Sunday. Patrick Strawbridge, Ethan Axman and JP Kenyon combined for 5.2 shutout innings with nine strikeouts and only two hits allowed. Kenyon stranded the bases loaded in the seventh and final inning to secure the save and give Strawbridge his first win.
Kingsport has a day off Monday before returning to the diamond Tuesday at Elizabethton at 7 p.m. ET. Fans can hear all Axmen games by going to this website.