Big Win Moves Pirates into Second Place Tie
The Bristol Pirates moved into a tie for second place in the Appalachian League West Division with an 8-3 victory over the Princeton Rays on Friday night.
With a loss by Elizabethton on Friday, the Pirates are now tied with the Twins for second place in the division and they hold the potential tiebreaker over the Twins with a 5-4 head-to-head record this year.
A solo home run by center fielder Chase Murray gave the Pirates a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but a two-out double by Princeton would tie the game in the bottom half of the inning. First baseman Matt Morrow would score the go-ahead run in the top of the second inning on a fielder's choice, and a single by right fielder Daniel Rivero and a double by second baseman Josh Bissonette would make it a 5-1 Pirates lead after two innings. Rivero added another run on a third-inning double, and after the Rays scored twice in the seventh inning, Rivero drove in the final runs of the game on a groundout in the eighth. Ryan Troutman and Enrique Santana combined to throw three scoreless innings to close out the win for the Pirates and even up the series with the Rays.
Luis Arrieta improved to 3-1 on the year after allowing two hits and one walk over two scoreless innings. Starter Tahnaj Thomas recorded five strikeouts over three innings of work to move into a tie for third place in the Appalachian League with 51 strikeouts, while Troutman set a career-high with five strikeouts over two scoreless innings.
Rivero led the Pirates at the plate, finishing with a double and a run scored while tying his career-high with four RBI. Left fielder Jake Wright went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while Bissonette hit his 10th double of the year and finished with two RBI.
The Pirates (27-28) now sit one game behind the Johnson City Cardinals for first place in the division, and they need seven more wins to clinch their first winning season since 2008. Jose Maldonado will start on Saturday in the series finale, as he comes off a scoreless start against Kingsport in which he allowed no hits and five walks over four innings.
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Appalachian League Stories from August 17, 2019
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- Maldonado Tosses Pirates past Princeton - Bristol Pirates
- D-Braves Finish off Sweep with Extra-Innings Triumph - Danville Braves
- Royals Scrape out 1-0 Win over Cards - Burlington Royals
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- Big Win Moves Pirates into Second Place Tie - Bristol Pirates
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