Twins make first visit to Greeneville, edge Astros

By Rebecca Pierson
Assistant Sports Editor
rpierson@starhq.com

   TUSCULUM--The Elizabethton Twins won their first time out on Pioneer Field as they beat the Greeneville Astros in a 10-9 nail-biter Wednesday night.
   "It was a good one," Twins manager Ray Smith said. "It was nerve racking for the staff for both clubs, but it was very entertaining for the fans up until the last pitch."
   Both mounds struggled throughout the game, with the Astros giving up 16 hits and five walks, and Elizabethton allowing 15 hits and three walks.
   With a 4-3 lead going into the fourth, the Twins' Tarrence Patterson became the first out after a grounder to shortstop Waladimir Sutil set up the easy out on first. Deacon Burns then laid down a single up the middle.
   From there Jeremy Pickrel got a free pass, and Javier Sanchez had a single up the middle for a RBI.
   The Astros at that point decided on a change at the mound. Marcos Solis relieved James Barthmaier and gave up a hit to Johnny Woodard into center field for a single and an RBI. Javier Lopez was then tagged out with his grounder to first.
   Greeneville's Neil Sellers was the first out in the bottom of the fourth with his fly out to center field. J. R. Towles wound up with a single with his hit to left field. Jordan Parraz's grounder to shortstop Trevor Plouffe made an easy second out.
   Pedro Espinoza was good for a single with his hit to right field for an RBI. Jose Hernandez was tagged out at first with his grounder up the middle.
   This left the Twins with a 6-4 lead going in to the fifth frame and they tacked on three more runs for a 9-4 lead going into the bottom of the fifth.
   The Astros' Mitch Einertson cut that lead with his second of three home runs, which brought him and Ole Sheldon around.
   Luke Hughes had an RBI off a double in the sixth for the Twins, and Neil Sellers and Towles both had RBIs in the seventh for a score of 10-8 in the eighth.
   Both teams would hold steady in the eighth, and the Twins went three-up, three-down in the top of the ninth.
   Einertson knocked out his third home run, which left the Twins with a one-run lead. Sellers and Towles had both of their balls caught in the outfield, and Parraz struck out, leaving the Twins with their first win in the new stadium in Greeneville.
   "Those guys got behind and we did them some favors with the lack of command from our pitching staff," Smith said. "Those guys checked up their act and trusted the game into the final pitch. But our guys kept plugging away, too."
   Jeff Mousser got the win and Frank Mata earned the save. Chris Marini led the Twins in batting with nine hits and six runs. Barthmaier led the Astros with nine hits and six runs.
   "We had a pretty good night offensively," Smith said. "We had Frank Mata come out and attack those guys in the ninth inning. That was the rookie league at its finest. It is a learning experience and I think those guys learned something tonight.
   "When you play 70 games, every win is good," he said. "It is nice to win our first game ever played here, but we have to come back tomorrow and battle these guys, play these guys tough and get another win at our place tomorrow night."