BURLINGTON, N.C. — The Kingsport Axmen defeated the Burlington Sock Puppets, 5-2, on Monday night at Burlington Athletic Stadium to win the 2022 Appalachian League Championship. The Axmen built an early 5-0 lead and relied on pitchers Ryan Murphy (James Madison) and Andrew Lindsey (Tennessee) the rest of the way.
Murphy was named Championship Game MVP as he allowed just one run on two hits and a walk over 5.0 innings. Murphy earned the win and struck out five. Lindsey pitched the final four innings; He allowed one run on five hits and a walk. Lindsey struck out six and earned the save.
Kingsport scored one run in each of the first three innings. In the top of the first, Sam Petersen (Iowa) singled and moved to second on a groundout. Petersen scored the game's first run on Jacob Perry’s (Minnesota) two-out RBI single. Henry Hunter (UAB) hit a two-out solo home run in the second inning to extend Kingsport’s lead. In the third, Nate Anderson (Gardner-Webb) scored on Perry’s sacrifice fly.
The Axmen scored two more runs in the fourth to extend their lead to 5-0. Anderson was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Petersen followed with a sacrifice fly. Burlington scored its first run in the bottom of the fourth when Ethan Lizama (Gulf Coast State) hit a solo home run off Murphy.
Lindsey replaced Murphy in the sixth, Trey Law (Youngstown State) welcomed him into the game with a leadoff double. Law moved to third on a single and scored on Ryan McCrystal’s (East Carolina) RBI single. The Sock Puppets had runners on the corners with no outs in the sixth but scored just the one run to cut their deficit to 5-2. Lindsey worked around a base runner in each of the final three innings to close out the game.
Petersen finished the night 2-for-2 with an RBI, run scored, hit by pitch and a stolen base. Hunter went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Perry drove in a game-high two runs for Kingsport. For Burlington, Law and McCrystal both finished 2-for-4. Law scored a run and McCrystal had an RBI. On the mound, Sock Puppets pitcher Peter Gallo (Saint Joseph’s) allowed just one hit and one walk over 5.0 shutout innings, he struck out nine.
It is Kingsport’s first Appalachian League title since 1995.