Twins fall prey to Pulaski

By Matt Wilson
STAR Correspondent

   1,462 fans came out to Joe O'Brien Field for a double-header between the Twins and the Pulaski Blue Jays Thursday night.
   On what started as a beautiful night for baseball, local children in attendance were treated to the Wal-Mart kids carnival night. The club from Pulaski treated the home fans rudely, though, as in game 1 the Blue Jays toppled the Twins 7-2.
   The second-place Twins jumped out to an early lead but the second-from-last-place Blue Jays looked like the contender for the top spot in the league on this night. Pulaski threatened in the first off Twin starter Chris Schutt as second baseman Jermy Acey led off the game with a double to center field.
   The Blue Jay center fielder Jayce Tingler then reached on a bunt single to put runners at first and third.
   The Twins lost the threat of a double play as Schutt's wild pitch put both runners in scoring position.
   Schutt then buckled down and struck out the Jays' third and fourth-place hitters.
   From there, Schutt got designated hitter Robinzon Diaz to ground out harmlessly to second to end the threat. In the Twin first, Felix Molina doubled down the left-field line to the delight of the festive crowd.
   Dusty Goman then continued his hot hitting and pulled himself in front of the league's home-run lead with his seventh blast on the season.
   The carnival atmosphere then turned sour as Pulaski took control of the game.
   Left fielder Randy Braun advanced to second on an error by Twin shortstop J.R. Taylor. He motored to third on yet another wild pitch before scoring an unearned run on an RBI groundout by the shortstop Eugenio VanCamper.
   Yuber Rodriguez reached second on another Twin error, this time in right field. Jermy Acey then singled home Rodriguez to tie the game, but was thrown out as he greedily tried to advance to second.
   The Blue Jay starter, Brad Mumma, a hard throwing lefty from Western Michigan, started a string of zeroes on the board for the homestanding Twins.
   The Jays took the lead for good in the third. Tingler got things started again as he singled to center.
   Joey Reiman drew a walk then Tingler advanced to third on a sacrifice fly by Nick Thomas. Tingler then scored on yet another Twin wild pitch to take the lead 3-2.
   The lead was more than enough for the hard throwing lefty, Mumma.
   From there, the Jays put the game out of reach in a disastrous fifth inning for the Twins. Acey got things started as he reached on another Twin error, this time by the third baseman.
   Tingler walked, then both runners advanced on a wild pitch before Nick Thomas singled to give the Jays the 5-2 lead and chased Twin starter Chris Schutt from the game.
   The bullpen could provide no immediate relief though as Thomas advanced to second on a passed ball then moved to third on a single by Diaz, who moved up to second on an errant throw the plate.
   Coach Smith then drew the infield in on the grass for a play at the plate.
   The ball just didn't bounce the Twins' way though as Luke Hetherington chopped one over the shortstop's head, scoring both runners and ending the scoring on the evening at 7-2.
   The Twins drop to 13-7 on the season and remain in second place behind the West Division leading Bristol White Sox.
   In between games the Twins honored the Elizabethton Boys and Girls Club tee-ball league as the youngsters received the thrill of taking the field on the edge of the outfield grass to the applause of the large crowd.
   Game 2 got underway as scheduled as ominous dark clouds rolled in from the north.
   The first inning was a scoreless for both squads as Twin starter Chris Marini and Blue Jay Juan Perez each fanned one batter apiece. Kevin Costner's character Crash Davis once said of baseball in the movie Bull Durham, "Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes it rains."
   Game 2 was a washout as it did just that forcing the clubs to schedule another doubleheader for tomorrow. Game time is set for 6 p.m at Jim O'Brien Field.