Jun. 26—PRINCETON — You’d almost get the impression that there’s some guy named ‘Ray’ still hanging around Elizabethton’s clubhouse.
The Elizabethton River Riders had a three-run rally in the third inning and added four more in the fifth to buy all the breathing room it needed to collect a 9-6 win over the Princeton WhistlePigs at Hunnicutt Stadium on Friday night.
Elizabethton (10-9), which is third in the Appy League West division and only one game behind West leader Greeneville, swept their two-game road series with the Appy East division-leading WhistlePigs (13-5).
Princeton effectively out-hit the visitors 12-9, led by AJ Jones, who went 3-for-5 with an RBI and Nico Popa, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Jake Rubenstein, Tre Morris and Nathan Holt had two hits apiece, with Holt collecting a double.
Trevor Bailey also had a double for the WhistlePigs.
Markus Brown led E-Town, going 2-for-5 with a double and four runs driven in. Robin Fernandez went 2-for-5 with an RBI and Eli Young went 2-for-3 with a double.
Princeton’s Tyler Dyball absorbed the loss after allowing seven runs off eight hits during his 4 1/3-inning shift. He struck out two and walked none.
Elizabethton’s Kasey Keller picked up the win after 1 1-3 innings’ work, striking out two and walking none. He allowed no runs off one hit.
Meanwhile, at Pioneer Park in Greeneville, the Ridge Runners did their part to help lighten Elizabethton’s load in the West as they defeated the visiting Greeneville Flyboys 6-1 for a two-game road series sweep.
In spite of pitching four scoreless innings for Bluefield, Ridge Runners starter Nathan Ackenhausen got the no-decision. His relief pitcher, Shaun Runey, picked up the pitching victory after only one inning with zeroes across his ledger.
It was definitely a collective triumph of starter and bullpen. Cameron Knox, Nate Roof and Justin Coleman all contributed, with Roof being touched by the lone run off two hits.
Ben Harris went 3-for-1 for Bluefield but scored both of his RBIs on sacrifice flies.
Joshuan Sandoval went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, Michael Seegers and Eric Grintz each had a hit and an RBI and Tervell Johnson had a triple.
Starter Ryan Day took the loss for Greeneville, which was led at the plate by Emanuel Dean, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Christian Ficca, who got a stranded double.
Mercer County will hav e mutual home stands with of two-game series this weekend.
Princeton hosts Pulaski tonight at 7 p.m. and Bluefield entertains Bristol in a 6:30 p.m. start. Sunday’s game times will be 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively.
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