Mill Rats edge Kings to snap losing streak

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – The Johnstown Mill Rats snapped an eight-game losing streak after holding off the Champion City Kings for a 6-5 victory in a Prospect League matchup on Wednesday night.

Johnstown held a 6-1 lead going to the bottom of the eighth. Champion City cut the lead to 6-3 after a Ben Stuart single, and then had the bases loaded with no outs. Gus Gregory walked and Nick Dolan plated a run with a sacrifice fly to trim the lead to one.

With the tying and go-ahead runs on base with one out, Mill Rats pitcher Will Knight induced a strikeout and a soft lineout to second base to end the inning with Johnstown’s lead still intact. Knight closed the door in the ninth by setting down the Kings in order to earn the save.

Knight threw two scoreless innings of relief, allowing no hits while striking out three. Josh Cottrill claimed the win after throwing five innings, giving up one run on four hits while walking and striking out four.

Cottrill’s lone run allowed came in the bottom of the first when Ethan Krizen doubled home Dolan. After this, Cottrill put up four consecutive zeros on the scoreboard, as the Mill Rats’ offense began to come alive.

Trailing 1-0 in the top of the fourth, Johnstown scored runs in four consecutive frames to build its lead. Matt Santarelli tied the game with an RBI double and Chase Cromer followed with a run-scoring single to give the Mill Rats the lead they would never lose.

In the fifth, Jake Casey tallied an RBI double before Asher Corl scored on a wild pitch in the sixth. Pete Capobianco capped off the Mill Rats’ scoring with a two-run home run in the seventh inning.

Mike Whiteherse led Johnstown offensively by compiling two hits, two runs scored and three stolen bases. Randy Carlo tallied two hits and an RBI. 

Johnstown (5-9) hosts West Virginia on Thursday night at 7 p.m. to begin a six-game homestand at Sargent’s Stadium at the Point.