Trailing 7-1 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, the K-Mets scored in five straight frames — including two runs in the bottom of the 10th to earn a tough 9-8 win over Bristol in an Appalachian League game at Hunter Wright Stadium.
Yoel Romero delivered the walk-off jewel with a groundball single to left field that scored Ranfy Adon from second base.
“I came up to the plate with a plan to just get a base hit,” said Romero through teammate-interpreter Shervyen Newton. “I was 0-for-4 the whole game, and it was the winning run, so I wanted to get a base hit. When I saw the ball go through, I just celebrated.
“I feel great about getting the winning hit. We’re a team that doesn’t give up.”
The K-Mets (22-19) remained 3½ games off the pace of West Division-leading Elizabethton, which slipped past Pulaski 7-6 for manager Ray Smith’s 1,000th regular-season win — all with the Twins franchise.
Domingo Martinez was the designated runner at second base to start the 10th inning. He advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher, and scored on Kenny Hernandez’s sacrifice fly to tie the game at 8.
BREAKING THINGS OPEN
Tied 1-1 entering the fourth inning, Bristol (18-23) drew six walks and had two RBI hits for a five-run tally.
For the game, six Kingsport pitchers walked 12 batters and struck out four.
COMING TO LIFE
The K-Mets made a bid to get back in the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Mark Vientos singled to load the bases with two outs, and Domingo Martinez followed with a two-run double to make it 7-3.
Then in the bottom of the seventh, Jarred Kelenic added an RBI single to cut the Pirates’ lead to 7-4.
BACK IN BUSINESS
In the bottom of the ninth, trailing 7-5, a one-out error plated a run and put the K-Mets in position.
Vientos made it hurt with a two-out single, sending the game to the 10th inning after the K-Mets were unable to tack on the potential winning run from third base.
Sherten Apostel, the Bristol third baseman, saved two runs with a diving split-second reaction grab of Guillermo Granadillo’s line drive, which was headed down the left field line with Bristol leading 7-5 in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Martinez led the K-Mets with three hits, and Vientos and Kelenic each had two.
Kelenic, Martinez and Hernandez each drove in a pair of runs.
Bristol got two hits apiece from Brendt Citta and Dean Lockery. Apostel added two RBIs.
These teams meet again Saturday at 6:30 p.m.