The Cards went 4-3 during a full week of action, winning two games out three against the Danville Braves and Bristol White Sox. On Saturday, Johnson City lost its opening game against the Princeton Rays on the road to wrap up the slate of games.
Sunday, June 23, at Howard Johnson Field - Cardinals 5, Braves 4
Kyle Grieshaber provided the fireworks as the Cardinals kept their fans on the edge of their seats in their home opener.
Grieshaber's stat line shows no hits but the DH provided the biggest play of the night with a sacrifice-fly RBI in the bottom of the tenth inning. It broke a 4-4 tie to give the Cardinals the win in the opening game of the series against the Danville Braves.
The Cardinals sent out five pitchers in a busy night. Fernando Baez (1-0) took the win after pitching in the tenth inning and coming away with a pair of key strikeouts with the Braves threatening with runners on base.
Monday, June 24, at Howard Johnson Field - Danville 9, Cardinals 2
The Braves would get their revenge in game number two, holding the Cardinals to two runs. From his DH position, Richy Pedroza accounted for two of the team's five total hits. Left fielder Devante Lacy, Brett Wiley and Kyle Grieshaber all brought in base hits while Jonathan Keener made his first start behind the plate for the Cardinals after being assigned to the squad from Palm Beach on Sunday.
Tuesday, June 25, at Howard Johnson Field - Cardinals 9, Braves 0
The Cards capped off the series in style by winning the rubber match against the Braves in dominant fashion.
First baseman Ronnierd Garcia went 2-for-4 and inflicted damage with three RBI. Brett Wiley was the second Cardinal to bring across a pair of teammates with a two-RBI triple.
Wednesday, June 26, at Howard Johnson Field - Cardinals 5, White Sox 1
Rowan Wick continued his tear during the week with a three-RBI performance to help lead the Cardinals with a 5-1 victory in the opening game against the Bri-Sox.
Justin Ringo and Lance Jeffries also proved an RBI each for the squad.
Alex Reyes picked up the victory for the Cardinals by pitching six innings allowing no runs and bringing the fire towards the plate with an 11-strikeout performance.
Thursday, June 27, at Howard Johnson Field - Cardinals 5, White Sox 3
Ronnierd Garcia brought the lumber for the Cardinals during the squad's last game at Howard Johnson Field for the week.
The third baseman cranked his first home run of the season to spearhead the team to a 5-3 victory against the Bri-Sox in game number two of the series.
Vaughn Bryan also tacked on two RBI and Rowan Wick added a run batted in while serving as the team's right fielder. Jonathan Keener made his second start for the Cardinals at catcher.
Luis Perdomo started and received a no-decision by going just four innings. Perdomo allowed two unearned runs while striking out six batters and surrendering five hits. Fernando Baez contributed an inning of relief from the bullpen to pave the way for Norge Paredes (1-0), who scored his first win of the season pitching the final four innings. Paredes allowed a lone hit while striking out four to hold the White Sox scoreless for the remainder of the game.
Friday, June 28, at Thomas Stadium (ETSU) - White Sox 8, Cardinals 0
It was a festive afternoon at East Tennessee State University's Thomas Stadium as the Cardinals began their first of two home games to be played at the college's diamond.
While newly-named ETSU football coach Carl Torbush threw out the first pitch, the Bri-Sox would bring on a football-like defensive effort - shutting out the Cardinals to keep the J.C. crew from scoring the series sweep.
The Cardinals only orchestrated four hits throughout the night, coming off the bats off first baseman Justin Ringo, catcher Rowan Wick, shortstop Kenny Peoples-Walls and designated hitter Brett Wiley. Wiley was serving as DH while Richy Pedroza received the starting nod at second base.
Nick Lomascolo received his first start on the mound for the Cards after scoring a win in relief duties last week. The White Sox were up to the challenge, rattling Lomascolo (1-1) for seven hits and five runs during the game in 3 1/3 innings of work. Anderson Gerdel, Jacob Booden and Tyler Mills all came out of the bullpen to help stave off further damage by the White Sox.
Booden gave a superb performance in relief, working four innings and striking out three. He allowed one run.
Saturday, June 29, at Hunnicutt Field - Rays 6, Cardinals 2
A road trip toward West Virginia had the Cardinals sitting at the wrong end of a 6-2 division loss against their Appy League East rivals, the Princeton Rays.
Johnson City was able to rope in RBI off the bats of first baseman Justin Ringo and shortstop Kenny Peoples-Walls, but the club orchestrated only seven hits and those two runs throughout the contest.
Pitcher Dailyn Martinez (0-1) made his second start of the season and was shellacked with five runs, one unearned, on eight hits throughout three innings of work. Steve Sabatino and Zach Loraine split the remaining innings in relief with both relief pitchers only allowing one hit each.
The Cardinals had their opportunities to score, but had trouble getting teammates across the plate, leaving 12 runners stranded.
Kenny Peoples-Walls - The team leader in hits with 12 continues to show his worth as the season progresses. The shortstop leads the team with a .364 average and has tacked on three RBI.
Brett Wiley - The second baseman has cooled off a little since his early season debut but continues to be a strong bat for the squad. He has nine hits on 27 at bats, sitting second on the team with his .333 batting average.
Steve Sabatino - It has been the domain of the relief pitchers for the Cardinals, who continue to see a solid performance out of Sabatino. He has been in three games so far and has a 1.04 ERA, second on the team, along with leading the team in strikeouts with 13.
Rowan Wick - The catcher/right fielder was productive, roping in all of his current six RBI during last week's stretch of games. He is currently sitting with a .314 batting average with 11 hits in 35 at-bats.
Vaughn Bryan - The outfielder continues to show his wheels by leading the team in stolen bases with seven throughout the course of 10 games.
Lance Jeffries - While appearing in eight games, the right fielder has had a little bit of trouble putting the bat on the ball with four hits at 26 at-bats. The outfielder is currently sitting with a .154 batting average. He has provided good plays in the outfield and look for the hitting to come around.
Nick Lomascolo - It may be a little quick to place Lomascolo on this list, but the White Sox were not ready to roll out the welcoming mat for the hurler's first start. He is sitting with a 6.75 ERA in two games. Look for his luck to turn around in more appearances.
None of the players on the roster have been placed on the disabled list.
Catcher Steve Bean has been active but is nursing a finger injury from earlier in the season and is considered day-to-day.
Catcher Jonathan Keener was placed on assignment from the Palm Beach Cardinals and has been splitting starting duties throughout the week with Rowan Wick.
The Cardinals have four catchers on their roster, along with Frankie Rodriguez, who also made an appearance last week against Bristol on Friday and Danville on Tuesday, both in back-up duties.
Manager Tom Kruzel has also been busy allowing different players get different cracks at some positions, including Wick in right field.
Appalachian League West
Elizabethton Twins 8-2
Johnson City Cardinals 7-3
Greeneville Astros 5-3
Bristol White Sox 3-7
Kingsport Mets 3-7
Appalachian League East
Bluefield Blue Jays 7-3
Pulaski Mariners 6-4
Burlington Royals 5-5
Danville Brave 3-6
Princeton Rays 2-7
The Week Ahead
The Johnson City Cardinals will wrap up their series with the Princeton Rays Sunday and Monday afternoon. The squad will have Tuesday off before heading to Elizabethton to square off against the league-leading Twins. Thursday-Saturday, the Cards will have their second series against the Kingsport Mets in Johnson City.
The Cardinals and Twins look to be the season favorites to finish at the top of the Appy League West division. Even with the lone game this week, look for it to be an early barometer as to what could potentially come down to a one-two team race at the top of the division.
Follow Curtis Carden on Twitter: @ERecordSports
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