E-Twins capture third straight win

By Allen LaMountain
ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR
alamountain@starhq.com

   While winning their third straight contest the Elizabethton Twins displayed the ability to beat a team in a number of ways that had been missing in the first week of play.
   In a 5-4 Sunday night win over the Bristol Sox, the Twins clubbed the long ball to take the lead, then beat the Sox with 'small ball' at the end.
   "These are the fun-type games," said Twins manager Ray Smith. "The kind of games you want to be involved with, with good pitching, and nice plays in the field. A well played game."
   Betsy scored a pair of runs in the last of the second on the long ball, as Scott Whitrock crushed his first Appalachian League round-tripper -- an opposite field shot to right -- that plated Doug Deeds who had doubled with two away.
   Whitrock finished the day two-for-four with a pair of RBI and has been swinging a hot bat of late, raising his batting average to .441 on the season.
   "I normally don't do too well against right-handers," Whitrock said. "I was trying to go the other way, and I got a couple of good fastballs to hit. As long as I get into the lineup, and can help the team, that's all you can hope for. We had a rough start, but we're getting back toward .500 and then we'll see what we can do from there."
   Whitrock's clutch shot staked Twins hurler Nick Blackburn to an early lead. Blackburn pitched six innings and gave up three runs on four hits, while striking out five and walking two.
   Blackburn earned his second victory of the season against one loss.
   In the third frame the Twins added to it's 2-0 advantage on a triple to dead centerfield by Garrett Guzman that plated Peter Martinez, who had walked.
   Blackburn had one bad frame almost undo what had been a stellar outing before righting himself. The top of the fifth saw Bristol score three times to knot the score at 3-3 as Edgar Varlea opened with a single to right.
   Darren Ciraco followed with a single to left to put runners at first and second. After a fly ball out off the bat of Chris Stewart, Bo Ivy singled cleanly to center to load the bases.
   A walk to Sox leadoff man Anthony Webster forced home a run, as did a ground ball by Pedro Lopez before Ivy stole home on the tail end of a double steal between Ivy and Webster. Blackburn got out of the jam by fanning Andy Gonzalez.
   Sox starter Brian Miller (0-2) surrendered three runs on four hits in five innings of work. Miller walked four and struckout six before giving way to Todd Deininger in the sixth.
   Deininger ran into trouble in the seventh when Sam Taylor led off with a walk, and both Trent Oeltjen and Matrinez reached on bunt singles to load the bases with none out.
   "This is an instructional league, and every game is a learning process," said Sox skipper Nick Leyva. "And we will work on the bunt play tommorrow for sure. These guys have to realize that you have to move the ball around and challenge people at times. Walks always come back to haunt you."
   Guzman got the tying run across with a fielders choice grounder and after Dusty Gomon fouled out to first, Cory Agar sent a broken bat looper into short rightfield to plate Oeltjen with the lead run.
   "Some guys want to be the guy on the spot in those situations," said Smith. "The good players strive for making things happen and Cory is that kind of player. I wouldn't rather have anyone else up in that situation."
   In the top of the seventh Bristol got to reliever Isaac Streich for a run as Stewart walked and went to second on a wild pitch. Ivy walked as well to put Sox runners on first and second, and another Streich wild toss put runners on the corners.
   Ivy then swiped second and Webster's infield hit brought home Stewart for a 4-3 BriSox lead.
   E-Twins notes : Gomon went hitless for one of the few times this season, and stands atop the Appy League with 18 base knocks. Guzman hit his first triple of the season to go along with six two-baggers and one homer to give him eight extra base hits aong his 13 hits on the season. Martinez, who once again beat out a bunt hit needs to concentrate his efforts on his strength which is his speed. "Martinez has good wheels," said Smith. "You have to try to showcase what tools you have and Pete runs well and has good lateral quickness in the field."