Johnson City Cardinals Notebook: 2013 Week 4

CF Vaughn Bryan is among Appy League offensive leaders as the Cardinals completed a 4-3 week.

Centerfielder Vaughn Bryan catapulted himself toward the top of the Appalachian League stat leaders and Kenny Peoples-Walls knocked a pair of home runs as the Johnson City Cardinals (12-10) completed a rather successful 4-3 week.

Johnson City scored a road sweep against East Division rivals, the Bluefield Blue Jays, to start off Week 4. The team then went 1-for-2 against Pulaski and ended the week with a close loss against Bristol on the road.

Sunday, July 7, at Bowen Field - Cardinals 7, Blue Jays 0

The Cardinals found a second home in West Virginia, experiencing success on both sides of the ball to log the shutout against their Appy League East rivals.

Shortstop Kenny Peoples-Walls had the hot bat on a 3-for-5 effort including a double and two RBI. Ronnierd Garcia, who played first base, tacked on two hits, both doubles, and a run driven in. Third baseman J.J. Altobelli, left fielder Kyle Grieshaber, second baseman Brett Wiley and centerfielder Yoenny Gonzalez also tacked on RBI during the victory.

While the offense was on point with 15 hits, the pitching showed its worth with Dailyn Martinez chalking up his first win of the season. Martinez tossed six scoreless innings, ringing up eight Blue Jays. Norge Paredes and Fernando Baez also saw time in relief.

Brian Vigo, in his first appearance with Johnson City, started in right field and had two hits in the victory. Frankie Rodriguez scored a run.

Monday, July 8, at Bowen Field - Cardinals 5, Blue Jays 1

Peoples-Walls kept up his hot streak against the Blue Jays on Monday, bringing in another 3-for-5 effort to spearhead the Cardinals third straight win.

Walls showed he has power to go along with his athleticism, launching his first home run of the season and contributing two RBI.

The outfielders added the remaining offensive production with centerfielder Vaughn Bryan and left fielder Kyle Grieshaber driving in a run each.

Along with Peoples-Walls, Bryan and first baseman Ronnierd Garcia had multiple hits, with two each.

Starter Hansel De Los Santos (1-1) picked up his first win of the season. Santos pitched six innings, allowing the Blue Jays' lone run, but held them to just two hits.

Zach Loraine and Anderson Gerdel each pitched scoreless ball in relief.

Tuesday, July 9, at Bowen Field - Cardinals 7, Blue Jays 2

The Blue Jays took the early 2-0 lead in hopes of holding off the sweep but the Cardinals brought their brooms with seven runs unanswered in the final two innings to score the win.

The home run bug hit Johnson City during their stay in West Virginia, with centerfielder Vaughn Bryan blasting his first bomb of the season. The home run highlighted a 2-for-5 performance.

Kenny Peoples-Walls and second baseman Richy Pedroza led the team in hitting with three hits each.

Justin Ringo, who played first base while Ronnierd Garcia served as third baseman, led the squad in scoring production with three RBI on two hits. Garcia and catcher Rowan Wick rounded out the scoring with runs driven in.

Blake McKnight had a no-decision for the Cardinals but gave the squad a solid performance in his five innings of work, giving up just one run on five hits. Nick Lomascolo had solid inning out of the bullpen - setting up Michael Holback to net his first win of the season. Holback pitched three innings - with three strikeouts and no hits allowed.

Wednesday, July 10, at Howard Johnson Field - Cardinals and Mariners - postponed

Mother Nature came out victorious as the Cardinals made their way back to Johnson City. The game against the Pulaski Mariners was moved to Thursday, July 11, scheduled as the nightcap for a doubleheader.

Thursday, July 11, at Howard Johnson Field: Game One - Mariners 7, Cardinals 2. Game Two - postponed

The game went as scheduled as the Pulaski Mariners scored the win against the Cardinals in game one of the doubleheader. Game two, rescheduled from Wednesday, had to be moved again - to Friday - due to another hit of inclement weather.

Centerfielder Bryan recorded a hit during all four plate appearances and Peoples-Walls took over as the team's home run leader with his second during the week (also bringing across two runners).

Ronnierd Garcia, who got the nod at third base, scored the Cardinals other run and Brett Wiley (back at second base) had two base hits.

Alex Reyes (1-2) picked up the loss as the starter. Reyes pitched four innings, allowed two runs on just one hit. Fernando Baez and Anderson Gerdel pitched from the bullpen as did Tyler Mills, who made a brief appearance in the ninth.

Friday, July 12, at Howard Johnson Field: Game One - Mariners 8, Cardinals 2. Game Two - Cardinals 7, Mariners 6.

Pulaski struck early and often during the first of two seven-inning games held in Johnson City Friday night. The Mariners came out on top in game one with a 8-2 score against the Cardinals.

Third baseman Ronnierd Garcia went 2-for-3 for the Cardinals and knocked in the squad's lone RBI, bringing in Vaughn Bryan on a two-out RBI hit. Garcia also scored an unearned run.

Luis Perdomo (1-2) took the loss. He nearly made it to the five inning mark, allowing five hits and six runs. Nick Lomascolo and Stalyn Lopez each made appearances out of the bullpen in relief.

Game two went into extra innings but the Cardinals scored the win via a walk-off walk in the bottom of the ninth.

First baseman Justin Ringo did the honors of netting the base-on-balls RBI to get the team back in the win category.

Designated hitter Brett Wiley went 2-for-3 including a double and four RBI to lead the charge for Johnson City while second baseman Richy Pedroza also tacked on two hits. Ronnierd Garcia also shifted between first and third base during the game. Frankie Rodriguez got the starting nod at catcher in game two.

Michael Holback (2-0) earned his second win of the week from the bullpen. Holback was the final pitcher, working two innings on two hits and no runs. Will Anderson got the starting nod while Brandon Lee and Zach Loraine had time in relief as well.

Saturday, July 13, at Boyce Cox Field - White Sox 2, Cardinals 1

Dailyn Martinez provided seven staunch innings for Johnson City but the Bri-Sox gave just enough of a defensive effort to stymie any late offensive production for the Cardinals. Bristol opened up the recent series with their league rivals by pulling out a 2-1 victory in front of a packed crowd at Boyce Cox Field Saturday night.

The Cardinals led in the hitting category with nine but could not capitalize with runners in scoring position - leaving a total of nine on base.

Centerfielder Vaughn Bryan and second baseman Luis Perez led the Cards with 2-for-4 performances at the plate while Justin Ringo knocked in the lone run for Johnson City in the top of the ninth inning with a two-out RBI base hit that drove in Perez. The hit sparked a rally but it proved to be just a little too late for the squad.

Martinez allowed just one run during his no-decision on the mound, allowing five hits with three strikeouts. Steve Sabatino (1-1) took the loss with just over an inning of relief work, allowing one hit with two strikeouts. Fernando Baez made a late appearance from the bullpen during the ninth inning.

Who's Hot?

Kenny Peoples-Walls - The hot bat continues for the Cardinals shortstop who sits as the team's leader with a .363 batting average. He leads the team with 29 hits, two home runs and sits third on the club in RBI with 12.

Vaughn Bryan - The team's stolen base leader (with 10) made his presence felt with the bat last week. Bryan is second on the team with 26 hits and a .337 batting average.

Michael Holback - The relief pitcher has made six appearances this season and garnered two wins last week. Holback ranks second on the squad with a 0.75 ERA, allowing just four hits in his 12 innings of work.

Other offensive leaders

Ronnierd Garcia leads the team in doubles by a considerable margin. The third/first baseman has 11 on the season. Brett Wiley is the team's RBI leader with 16 and has two triples on the season, along with Vaughn Bryan.

Roster Moves

Due to promotions throughout the Cardinals' ranks at catcher, Jonathan Keener was bumped up to the Peoria Chiefs on Tuesday, July 9.

Lineup Changes

The promotion of Keener now opens up opportunities for some Cardinals to see additional time on the diamond. Rowan Wick looks to be the number one catcher, which sets up outfield playing time for Kyle Grieshaber, Yoenny Gonzalez and Brian Vigo.

Richy Pedroza and J.J. Altobelli have seen some more time at different spots across the infield.

Appalachian League West

1) Elizabethton Twins 14-8
2) Greeneville Astros 13-10
3) Johnson City Cardinals 12-10
4) Kingsport Mets 8-12
5) Bristol White Sox 7-14

Appalachian League East

1) Burlington Royals 11-7
2) Bluefield Blue Jays 11-8
3) Pulaski Mariners 12-9
4) Danville Brave 11-9
5) Princeton Rays 5-17

The Week Ahead

The Cardinals will complete their series against Bristol on Sunday and Monday and then enter an off day on Tuesday. Pulaski will be awaiting on Wednesday-Friday as the Cardinals open up their road series against the Mariners. On Saturday, the Cards will be back at Howard Johnson Field to square off against the Greeneville Astros to duel with their Appy League West rivals.

Follow Curtis Carden on Twitter: @ERecordSports



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