K-Mets bomb Twins

By Allen LaMountain

   Things were looking pretty good for the Elizabethton Twins after six innings on Wednesday night at Joe O'Brien Field, but the roof caved in on them in the seventh.
   Kingsport sent 14 batters to the plate in the frame against 'Betsy relievers Jason Keeling and Isaac Streich, scoring 11 runs, and handing the Twins a 15-5 loss.
   'Betsy fell to 9-12 with the loss, while Kingsport stands 10-11 in the Appalachian League's West Division.
   "It only counts for one (loss)," said Twins manager Ray Smith. "We have been on the other end of these kinds of games too, and at this level they happen quite a bit. Hopefully, we won't be on the receiving end of too many of these."
   Mets starter Adam Elliott pitched a dandy, going five innings, and giving up just two runs on two hits -- one of which was a mammoth home run by Twins shortstop Inocencio "Sandy" Hiraldo.
   Elliott struck out four and walked just one in his mound stint, as he carried a no-hitter through four frames, and improved to 2-0 on the season.
   "I got my pitches a little up in the fifth," said Elliott, an 18 year-old right-hander from Clayton Valley H.S. in Santa Monica, Cal. "I got a curveball up and he hammered it. This team has shown that they can hit the ball and tonight they put it on display."
   Indeed, as the Mets put five round-trippers out of Riverside Park, including two by Yunir Garcia, his first two of the season. Kingsport came into the contest leading the Appy League as a team in hitting with a .302, but had hit only eight home runs.
   "This ballpark is conducive to home runs," said Mets manager Joey Cora. "If you hit the ball well in the air, it's got a chance to get out. The pitching was solid tonight, Elliott gave us five strong innings and DeLeon was good in his three innings."
   Kingsport touched Twins starter T.J. Prunty (1-3, 4.00) for two runs in the second frame as Appy League leading hitter Aaron Baldiris (.413) singled to center.
   Garcia then ripped his first homer of the season over the fence in right field to stake Elliott to a 2-0 lead.
   Kingsport held a four-run lead going into the last of the fifth when Dusty Gomon hit the first of his two blasts on the night -- this a solo shot that cut the Mets' lead to 4-1.
   Doug Deeds drew a free pass and came around on a double by Cory Agar and a sacrifice fly by Danny Matienzo to cut the Mets lead in half.
   Hiraldo sent his moon-shot over the scoreboard in right field as 'Betsy made it a 4-3 game after six, but Keeling was sent reeling in his two-thirds of an inning in the seventh.
   Garcia led off with his second homer of the night and leadoff man Jamar Hill greeted Streich with a grand slam that capped the Mets outburst. Brendan Mannix hit a three-run shot in the frame as well for the Mets.
   "Twins pitching didn't miss too many bats tonight," said Smith. "Keeling didn't have his 'kill-shot' tonight, which is when you get ahead in the count you have to have that pitch that puts the hitter away, and he didn't have it. He seemed to be having a hard time with his angle (of delivery) and he was up in the zone."
   In the ninth, Gomon delivered his second blast of the night, his sixth of the season, but the horse was long out of the barn in this one. Nick Niedbalski, just off the disabled list, pitched a scoreless ninth for the Twins.
   E-Twins notes: Gomon (.330-6-19) finished the night two-for-four and now has 29 hits, which puts him second to Princeton's Hiram Duncan who has 30. Gomon is now tied for the league lead in homers with six, and Hiraldo -- who has a lot of pop in his bat -- now has five. Garrett Guzman cracked his eighth double of the season to tie him for second in the league.