JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – A two-run double by Matt Mercer in the top of the ninth gave the Champion City Kings a 7-5 victory over the Johnstown Mill Rats in a Prospect League matchup on Saturday.
With the game tied at 5-5, Mercer, who had previously been 0-for-4 with three strikeouts prior to the ninth inning, stroked a line drive into the left-center field gap that scored two runners and put the Kings ahead for good.
The Kings and Mill Rats entered the seventh inning even at 3-3, but both teams scored a run in both the seventh and the eighth to set up the finish. In the end, Champion City made the most of its opportunities, and Johnstown did not.
Johnstown left a total of 12 runners on base, including stranding the bases loaded in both the sixth and seventh innings with opportunities to take the lead. The Mill Rats also had a runner thrown out at the plate in the bottom of the first.
Tim Crum took the loss in relief for the Mill Rats after surrendering three runs over two innings. Starting pitcher Will Knight earned a no-decision, tossing seven innings while giving up four runs on nine hits. Knight struck out four and did not walk a batter.
Jake Casey and Pete Capobianco each went 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Mill Rats, with Capobianco scoring twice.
Johnstown (18-23, 6-4) has Sunday off before starting a six-game road trip at 7 p.m. Monday night in Chillicothe, Ohio.