Gomon homer sends E-Twins past Kingsport

By Marvin Birchfield
STAR STAFF
mbirchfield@starhq.com

   After coming from behind and finishing a couple of runs short in their first meeting on the season, the Elizabethton Twins were faced with the same scenario on Thursday, but this time with a different outcome.
   A ninth-inning, home-run shot from Dusty Goman gave the Twins their first win of the season, as they rallied through the late innings to pull out a 7-5 victory over the Kingsport Mets.
   "It was exciting for the team to get the monkey off their back to get their first win, so now we can kind of relax and go out playing hard for the rest of the season," said Twins manager Ray Smith.
   Elizabethton fell behind early in the contest, as back-to-back homers from Tyler Davidson and Danilo Reynoso in the second frame gave the Mets the early advantage.
   Kingsport added to its lead in the third inning, when a double to left-center field drove in Todd Dulaney and Jamar Hill, making the score 4-0.
   The Twins came back in the bottom of the inning to score their first run of the night with a ground out to first base by Felix Molina, which allowed J.R. Taylor to come home.
   After going silent at the plate through frames four and five, Elizabethton brought out the bats in the bottom of the sixth to tie the contest.
   The Twins connected on 12 hits for the evening, as the majority and most important ones came during the later frames.
   "We put a lot of time in developing our offense part of the game, because we have been blessed with a lot of ability with our hand and eye coordination," said Smith. "We have Jeff Reed as the hitting coach and he does a great job of teaching it and getting people to buy into what he's saying."
   Kyle Phillips led off for the Twins with a double to the left-center wall, and eventually came around to score when a hit from Ryan Sparto and fielding error by the second-baseman enabled the run to cross.
   A double to right-center field by Taylor with bases loaded tied the game, as Sparto and Brock Peterson both came home.
   "I knew I needed to come up clutch for my team being in the position we were in, and the pitcher threw me some good pitches, so I put a good swing on the ball," said Taylor.
   The hit would have given the Twins the lead, but a slip by Ron Perodin rounding third base allowed the throw from the outfield to hold the runner at third.
   Taylor continued to be productive for the Twins at the plate all night long, as he went three for four with his last hit of the night coming in the eighth frame.
   A line drive to shallow right field created the third RBI of the game from Taylor, with Sparto coming home and giving the Twins a slim 5-4 lead heading into the final frame.
   "I was just trying to do what I could to help this team win," said Taylor. "It seemed like something had bit us in the early innings, but I guess we just like hitting in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings, so I just stayed focused and kept hitting."
   Johan Camacho led off for the Mets in the top of the ninth with a homer to left field and tied the contest at 5-5, forcing the Twins with having to score to avoid playing an extra inning.
   After retiring the first batter with a strike out, Phillips stepped up for the Twins to smack a double to the right-field wall.
   Justin Arneson came in as the courtesy runner at second base, and waited to see if the next hitter could advance him for the winning run.
   With just one out, Goman came through on his second hit of the night, crushing a two-run homer and giving the Twins their first victory in 2003 with a record of 1-1.
   "I had a hit on my first at bat, and that helps relax you a little," said Goman. "It felt really good coming off the bat that last time, and I'm very pleased with how we've hit the ball in our first two games of the season."