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 Burlington Sock Puppets

Burlington Comeback Falls Short, Loses to Bristol in Tiebreaker

June 15, 2023 - Appalachian League (ApL)
Burlington Sock Puppets News Release

BURLINGTON, N.C. - The Burlington Sock Puppets entered the ninth inning trailing by six runs. The ninth inning ended with a tied score, as the bottom of the Sock Puppet lineup ignited a comeback and Ryan McCrystal (East Carolina) capped it off with a three-run double to tie the score.

However, in the first tiebreaker inning of the season, the Sock Puppets elected to go offense but could not bring a run home, giving the Bristol State Liners the 8-8 win.

Burlington (5-3) has trailed by a combined 13 runs entering the ninth inning of its home losses but has tallied 11 runs in response to those deficits. McCrystal would lead the charge throughout the game on Wednesday night, finishing 3-for-5 with four RBIs.

The Sock Puppets got multi-hit performances from Vince Fattore (Duke), Ethan Lizama (Gulf Coast JC) and Sam Gates (George Washington). Burlington also collected five extra-base hits, all of them doubles, in the loss to Bristol.

The State Liners (5-3) entered the series with the highest scoring offense in the Appalachian League and they used twelve hits from seven different batters to fuel their offensive attack.

Trey Oblas (Utah) finished with a multi-hit night including a two-run blast in the ninth inning. Jordan Austin (Indiana State) had another productive night for Bristol as he finished 1-for-3 with a two-RBI single in Bristol's three-run sixth inning. Blake Wood (Florida State College-Jacksonville) and Nick Strong (Illinois State) also finished with multi-hit nights.

Burlington starting pitcher, Caleb Cockerham, gave the Sock Puppets four innings on the mound and a Sock Puppet single-game high seven strikeouts. Every Burlington reliever recorded a strikeout in the loss and recorded 25 strikeouts over the two-game series.

Bristol got a quality outing out of Harold Baez (Pittsburg State) who limited the Sock Puppet attack for the first five innings. Baez limited the Sock Puppets to one second-inning run, then retired the final five batters he faced. Anthony Gonzalez (Lehigh) continued the batter's retired streak that Baez started as he sat down the first seven Sock Puppet batters he faced.

The Sock Puppets will hit the road to face the Kingsport Axmen in a rematch of last season's Appalachian League championship game. Burlington will have two straight road series before returning to Burlington Athletic Stadium on June 20 for another matchup with the Bluefield Ridge Runners.

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