Twins get past Burgie to wrap up league title
By Marvin Birchfield

   The Elizabethton Twins celebrated their National League season championship on Tuesday after a hard-fought battle with Burgie Drug ended in a 3-1 Twins victory.
   It was in the fourth inning that the Twins found the magic to overcome a short-filled roster, as three major hits brought the victory to their corner.
   "It was a big win for us, since we were put in a compromising position with several players missing," said Twins coach Len Dugger. "We only had nine kids, and three of them had never played a whole game before."
   Lance Reed received the win at the mound by throwing 14 strikeouts and allowing just two hits on the night.
   "He pitched a great game for us. Both Lance and my catcher had worked together all day in talking and plotting strategies for this game," said Dugger.
   Burgie was in striking distance throughout the contest, with Casey Crapps giving up three hits and retiring seven batters on strikeouts.
   The first hit of the evening came in the second frame, when Matt Febuary smacked an infield single.
   Febuary made it around to third base after stealing second and advancing on a wild-pitch.
   Reed converted two consecutive strikeouts to keep Burgie off the board, and it wasn't until the fourth frame that either team produced a run.
   In the top of the fourth, the Twins gained the advantage when Craig Sheets crushed a ground double to left field, driving in Reed.
   A nice sacrifice bunt by Norman Scott brought Sheets home with the slide at the plate, and single to right field by Nick Lyons drove in Dalton Luster.
   "We were fortunate to capitalize on some opportunities," Dugger said. "Craig Sheets came up with a big hit for us, and Norman Scott laid down a nice bunt to get us around also."
   The Twins acquired a 3-0 lead in the top half of the fourth, but Burgie came back in the bottom of the inning to threaten.
   Reed threw his first walk of the night in the fourth, and two more loaded the bases for Burgie.
   A passed ball enabled Crapps to come home, but Reed was then able to connect on a strikeout to end the frame.
   Burgie attempted to add another run in the bottom of the fifth, when Luke Martinez hit a double to shallow right field.
   Martinez tried to make the steal at home after facing two outs, but the throw from Reed to the catcher, Skylar Dugger, was in plenty of time for the tag.
   Burgie had one last chance in the bottom of the sixth, when Jordan Meredith made it on base off an error, but a ground out from Crapps to Phillip White sealed first-place victory for the Twins.
   "I think what was really sweet about this was the kids all hung together and played as a team, and it's a good lesson for them to know exactly what they are capable of," said Len Dugger.
   Valley Forge Auction 11
   Carter County Motors 5
   The Valley Forge Auction did what they needed to in keeping their hopes alive for first place, but the 11-5 victory over Carter Co. Motors was still not enough.
   The Elizabethton Twins clinched the regular-season title with their win, but Valley Forge Auction had a great year by staying neck-and-neck throughout the season.
   "Even if we finish second, we have had a great year," said Valley Forge Auction coach Jeff Dykes. "I can't say enough about these kids. They have never quit all year long."
   The game was tied after the first inning of play, as Carter County's first run came from a single by Nolan Childers that drove home Cody Hyder.
   A double by Bobby Campbell brought the next two scores to the plate, with Casey Sheffield and Childers coming home.
   Valley Forge came back in the bottom of the frame as Garrett Dykes hit a single to score Jon Robinson.
   Brent Powell smacked a double to tie the contest, with Bradley McVey and Christopher Dunbar scoring.
   "Our bats really came through for us. Brent Powell had a big game along with several others who had good hits," said Dykes.
   A big inning for Valley Forge came during the third frame, when it connected for six hits and five runs.
   Jordan Hodges hit a double to drive in the first two scores, with Cody Jenkins and Robinson crossing the plate.
   The last run was scored when Powell smacked a hit and brought home Dunbar.
   Three more runs were added by Valley Forge in the bottom of the fifth, as a double by Powell drove in Dykes to make it an 11-3 margin for the Auction.
   Carter County added two runs in the final frame, when Casey Sheffield connected on a single to bring home Cody Hyder, and a shot from Jake Hodge scored Sheffield.
   "We have a chance in the tournament and it'll probably be a single elimination, so you have to bring your best game every night," said Dykes. "I've never seen this league as competitive as it is. No team blows another one out."