The Bristol Pirates had a chance to move up the Appalachian League’s West Division standings on Friday night.
Daniel Rivero drove in four runs and Chase Murray homered as the BriBucs posted an important 8-3 road win over the Princeton Rays.
The Appy League’s West Division is crowded now with Johnson City (28-27), Bristol (27-28), Elizabethton (27-28) and Kingsport (27-29) holding the top four spots.
Bristol and Elizabethton are tied for second place but the Pirates hold the tiebreaker as they had a 5-4 record against the Twins this summer. The top two teams in the division qualify for postseason play.
There are 12 games remaining for the BriBucs as they seek their first playoff berth since 2002.
The Pirates took care of business on Friday, building a 5-1 lead after two innings.
Jake Wright added two hits and scored two wins, while Luis Arietta (3-1, 6.87 ERA) was the winning pitcher after spinning two scoreless innings.
Princeton hosts Bristol today at 6:30 p.m.
Danville 2, Elizabethton 1
The last time Elizabethton of the Appalachian League had a losing record, Pat Mahomes was a pitcher for the Twins.
No, not the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs.
And it was 1988.
Elizabethton’s long string of winning seasons appears to be in trouble as the Twins fell to 27-28 with a road loss to the Danville Braves.
The quartet of Tyler Owens, Tanner Gordon (Indiana University), Greg Leban (Austin Peay) and Alex Segal (Wichita State) teamed to pitch a four-hitter for Danville.
Bluefield 4, Greeneville 0
The Greeneville Reds probably would have rather faced any pitcher other than Roither Hernandez on Friday.
Hernandez struck out nine in six scoreless innings in leading the Bluefield Blue Jays past Greeneville.
Julian Valdez and Kyle Huckaby polished off the three-hit shutout.
Burlington 1, Johnson City 0
Burlington Royals pitcher Jonah Dipoto is the son of Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto.
Jonah is managing just fine this summer in the Appalachian League.
Dipoto polished off a five hit-shutout by locking down the Johnson City Cardinals in the eighth and ninth inning as Burlington was victorious.
Dipoto has three saves and has not allowed an earned run in 25 2/3 innings of work for the Royals
Kingsport 6, Pulaski 1
Brett Baty drove the Pulaski Yankees batty.
The first-round pick in June’s Major League Baseball Amateur Draft went 3-for-4 and scored three runs from the leadoff spot as the Kingsport Mets pounded Pulaski.
Baty raised his batting average from .172 to .192.