JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. -- The Doughboys debuted a new video board Saturday and picked up a 4-1 win over Elizabethton.
The game started off quiet, as both teams got settled in for what looked to be a pitcher’s duel. Justin Guliano settled in and was smooth sailing outside of one pitch to start the fourth inning.
Elizabethton would find the scoreboard first with a mammoth 410-foot home run to left on the first pitch of the fourth inning. The homer would be the first time a River Rider would touch third base.
The home run didn’t phase Guliano, as he’d turn around and strike out two in the inning, keeping the game at just a 1-0 ballgame.
The Doughboys' offense stayed dormant for most of the early portions of the game, having a pair of runners reaching third but nobody advancing farther. The sixth was when the game turned around for Johnson City.
The Doughboys would load the bases before recording their first out, with Braden Spano knocking in the first run of the day on an RBI ground out. The Doughboys wouldn’t stop at that, taking their first lead in a game in over a week as Logan Hugo’s sacrifice fly to the wall would make it, 2-1.
Two outs didn’t cause much to change for the Doughboys with Jared Johnson doubling with two outs and two strikes to make it, 4-1.
The four runs would give the Doughboys a lead that they wouldn’t squander, bringing in David Utagawa to close things out for a three-inning save.
Justin Guliano’s day would end after six innings and 11 strikeouts, his best outing of the season, putting him in line for the win with the four-run sixth.
The River Riders wouldn’t have an answer for Utagawa, as the most trouble he’d get into was a runner on third with two outs in the seventh that ultimately wouldn’t score.
Utagawa struck out the side in the eighth, setting him up for what would be a more traditional save opportunity, looking to close out the game up three in the ninth. Utagawa would allow the first runner to reach, then retire the next three he faced, including a pair of strikeouts to end the ballgame.
The Doughboys would have a combined 16 strikeouts as a pitching staff. The win moves Johnson City back to .500 at 24-24, as the Doughboys will look for a series win tomorrow.
These two teams will face off for the last time tomorrow in a doubleheader, with the first game starting at 3:30 p.m.