Twins take pair from Pulaski

By Tim Chambers
STAR STAFF
tchambers@starhq.com

   The Johnson City fireworks show was scheduled to begin at 10 p.m. Saturday night at Freedom Hall. The Elizabethton Twins gave fans their fireworks display at about the same time in their final at bat at Joe O'Brien Field.
   After falling behind 2-1 in the top of the eighth, the Twins rallied by scoring two runs with two outs in the bottom half to earn a dramatic 3-2 comeback victory over the Pulaski Blue Jays. They also took the first game, 3-1.
   Elizabethton fell behind 1-0 in the third when Yuber Rodriguez drove home Mike Macaluso, who had singled with a sacrifice fly.
   'Betsy loaded the bases in the third with no outs, but came away empty-handed after two strikeouts and a pop-up.
   The Twins tied the score in the fifth when Terrance Patterson ripped a triple off the right-center field wall, scoring Luke Hughes, who had doubled.
   Pulaski took a 2-1 advantage after collecting an unearned run in the top of the eighth to silence the Elizabethton faithful, but the crowd would be revived, as would the Twins.
   Down to their last heartbeat, the cardiac kids made the Phillies pay after failing to shut off their air supply.
   With two outs, Javier Lopez collected a pinch-hit single, followed by a walk to Javy Sanchez. Jay Yaconetti tied the score, lining a double in the gap for his second hit of the game.
   "They had been trying to get me out on off-speed the entire game," stated Yaconetti. "I was trying to hit the ball hard and helped my team get a win. It felt great getting two big wins today."
   After Hughes was hit by a pitch, Patrick Ortiz drilled a base hit to score Sanchez for the win. Although Ortiz speaks no English, the big smile on his face said it all. He had delivered the game-winning hit.
   Alexander Smit had a tremendous outing on the mound, pitching five innings while giving up one run, allowing three hits and striking out nine. Jonathan Martinez threw two scoreless innings, and Frank Mata got the win.
   Yaconetti and Hughes went 2 for 3 to lead the Twins offense.
   Elizabethton 3
   Pulaski 1 (Game 1)
   The Twins used a stellar pitching performance from Fleetwood, North Carolina native Steven Duguay to earn a 3-1 victory in the first contest. Duguay, from right outside of Boone, pitched six innings, allowing one run and three hits.
   Duguay struck out six, allowing no free passes.
   "My guys tonight played great defense," said Duguay. "They got the bats going and hit it well."
   "It's much easier to pitch when you have great players playing behind you. My teammates did an outstanding job tonight."
   The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the first when David Winfree drove home Deacon Burns, who reached on a fielder's choice after Trevor Plouffe had singled. 'Betsy added a single run in the third when Burns singled and later scored after two wild pitches by Pulaski pitcher Yesson Berroa.
   Their final run came in the fourth when Javier Lopez slapped a base hit and moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch. A double by Matt Tolbert scored Lopez for the final margin.
   Lopez was a perfect 3 for 3 at the plate to lead Elizabethton while Burns added two hits to the cause.
   "It was a great display of baseball today," said Twins skipper Ray Smith. "Many of these guys have been in this situation before, so it was great to see them step up and execute.
   "We try to stress as a coaching staff that every out is important, and it's never over until the final out. Our team never quit and came away with two big wins."
   The Twins will be at home tonight against the Johnson City Cardinals beginning at 7. Live gospel music will take place before the game at 6. A fireworks show will occur immediately after the game.