ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. - A fifth-inning grand slam would be the difference Saturday as the Doughboys lost, 7-3, to Elizabethton.
The Doughboys would threaten in each of the first two innings, putting runners on second in both innings, but wouldn’t be able to score in either inning. Johnson City starter Ethan Payne would start the ballgame off strong, allowing just one baserunner in each of the first three innings of the game.
The Doughboys' offense would finally break through in the fourth inning, as Ashton King roped a double into left, ultimately scoring the first run of the game on a Logan Hugo RBI single. With the 1-0 lead, Saturday would be the ninth consecutive game in which the Doughboys held a lead at any point.
The lead would be short-lived, as the River Riders would knock in a pair of runs in the fourth, giving them a 2-1 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. Elizabethton would break the game open in the fifth as the first three hitters all reached base, and were brought home by a grand slam, making it a five-run lead at 6-1.
The Doughboys just didn’t have an answer for the grand slam, as Johnson City would threaten but just couldn't bring runs across, leaving them loaded without scoring a run. The game would stay quiet in the sixth, but Elizabethton would tack on another run in the seventh. Johnson City’s bats just couldn’t quite wake up on Saturday, as the Doughboys put runners on and have no success in scoring them until the eighth.
The Doughboys would take advantage of an Elizabethton error, and score its first runs of the ballgame since the fourth as Logan Hugo would drive in a pair of runs, making it 7-3.
The two runs wouldn’t feel like enough, as the Doughboys would leave a runner stranded on third to end the inning.
Elizabethton wouldn’t be able to add any insurance runs, and the Doughboys would have an opportunity to come back in the ninth. The ninth inning would arrive, but the Doughboys didn't as Johnson City would go down in order to end the ballgame.
The loss sends the Doughboys back to .500 at 19-19, but with a Kingsport loss, the Doughboys stay at 6.5 games back in the standings.
The Doughboys look to take the series tomorrow afternoon in Elizabethton.