Winfree lifts E-Twins with 10th-inning sacrifice fly

By Tim Chambers

   Sunday night's game between the Twins and the Devil Rays resembled an old fashioned roller-coaster ride: up and down with a nice smooth finish.
   Leading 4-0 after seven innings, the Twins saw a 4-0 lead evaporate before rallying to tie the game in the ninth and finally winning the game in the 10th inning, 6-5, at Joe O'Brien Field.
   David Winfree lined a sacrifice fly to left-center field that scored Deacon Burns, who had doubled to start the rally.
   "I wasn't looking to do anything heroic," stated Winfree. "I just wanted to hit the ball good.
   Elizabethton took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Johnny Woodard ripped a home run over the left-center field wall, giving the Twins the early lead.
   'Betsy took a 2-0 advantage in the second when Winfree, the 18-year-old from Virginia Beach, crushed a home run over the left-field wall, much to the delight of the large Twins crowd.
   Meanwhile, Twins starting pitcher Steven Duguay was cruising, mowing Princeton batters down like a weed whacker in high grass.
   The 21-year old from Fleetwood, N.C., gave up only two hits and struck out 8 while allowing no free passes.
   Alexander Smith came on to pitch two scoreless innings, striking out five of the six batters he faced. Elizabethton upped the lead at 4-0 in the sixth when Tarrence Patterson singled as did Deacon Burns.
   A single up the middle by Javier Sanchez gave Twins fans hope of getting home early. Princeton closed the gap at 4-3 with one swing of the bat in the seventh. After singles by Blake Shultz and Christian Lopez, Jaria Delarosa launched a home run off reliever Javier Martinez to silence the Betsy faithful.
   The Devil Rays took the lead in the ninth thanks to a walk, a hit bats man, a wild pitch and an RBI single from Chris Cunningham.
   Elizabethton refused to fold as Winfree smacked a double to start the ninth and later scored on a another single by Woodard to tie the game at 5-5.
   After retiring Princeton in order to start the tenth, Elizabethton showed why the cream rises to the top when Burns roped a double off the Philadelphia Church sign that brought an amen from pastor and Twins president Harold Mains.
   Shouting took place when Sanchez ripped a single to left, placing runners at first and third. Finally fans gave thanks when Winfree delivered his game-winning RBI to cap off a wonderful Sunday night for the Twins' faithful.
   Winfree and Woodard paced the offense with two hits each, including home runs from the dynamic duo. Sanchez helped the cause with two singles, two RBIs and a great defensive job behind the dish for Elizabethton.
   "This town reminds me so much of the small community that I from on the outskirts of Virginia Beach," said Winfree. "Coach (Jeff) Reed worked with me on my hitting today and it paid off."
   Winfree was just as impressive with the pen, staying and signing baseballs for nearly every kid in the ballpark before departing to the dressing room.
   "The kids mean a lot to me," added Winfree. "I was that age one time and although we are not major leaguers, some of the local kids look up to us."
   "It's an honor to have the kids want an autograph or a baseball signed."