E-Twins hang tough for victory over Greeneville   

By Rebecca Pierson
Assistant Sports Editor

  TUSCULUM -- The Elizabethton Twins took another win at Pioneer Park Sunday night and held on to their lead in the Appalachian League West, defeating the Greeneville Astros, 5-4.
  "These are two pretty evenly-matched clubs," Twins manager Ray Smith said. "These are fun games to be involved in when it comes down to the last pitch.
  "Last night [Saturday] was the same deal. It could have went either way."
  Ole Sheldon put the first run on the board for the Astros in the bottom of the second. He came around again in the bottom of the fourth for a 2-0 lead.
  David Winfree was the first at bat in the fifth for Elizabethton, and singled up the middle. Matt Tolbert banged the ball to the shortstop, Waladimir Sutil, but Winfree was caught at second. From there, Luke Hughes bunted for a sacrifice before Tarrence Patterson had a single.
  Trevor Plouffe then ripped a double into right-center field that opened up the back door for Tolbert and Patterson to tie the game. Deacon Burns attempted a drop into center field, but Mitch Einertson got under it to close up the frame.
  Astro Bryan Triplett opened up the bottom of the fifth with a grounder to shortstop, Plouffe, and Johnny Woodard got him at first. After that, Matthew Fox struck out both Einertson and Garcia.
  Marcos Solis relived James Barthmaier in the sixth for the Astros and struck out Jeremy Pickrel. Javier Sanchez had a line drive up the middle for a single. Sanchez moved up on a wild pitch while Johnny Woodard was at bat, but Woodard would hit a fly into right field for the second out.
  Then Solis walked Winfree, and he and Sanchez would reach off Solis' error at second before Tolbert's hit into right field brought both of them around.
  Hughes then sent one between first and second for a single and an RBI.
  Patterson would come to the plate next, but an error by Astros catcher Acosta allowed Hughes to advance to second. Patterson would pop one to Sutil for the third out.
  Both teams would have only one hit apiece in the sixth and seventh, but produced no runs. After the Twins went three up, three down in the top of the ninth, Jason Bowlin came to the mound in relief of Dennis Medina and walked Ryan Reed. Wallace Torbet attempted a drop in center field, but Patterson got underneath it. Jason Corapci had a similar hit into right field that was caught by Pickrel.
  Sutil then singled into right field and Triplett came to bat. Sutil advanced on a wild pitch and Triplett ripped one to Plouffe. Plouffe made the throw to Woodard for the out, but Reed made it around and the ball just didn't make it to the plate in time to stop Sutil.
  With only a one-run lead, Frank Mata came to the mound for the save and
  struck out Einertson.
  Matthew Fox got the win with six hit, two runs and no walks. Barthmaier took the loss with six hits and two runs and a walk.
  "We brought in Mata to close, which I didn't want to do because we have used him three of the past four nights," Smith said. "I didn't want Bowlin to face Einertson because he has hit four homers against us already. He was wearing us out, so I want to put the guy out of the pen who is throwing the best against their best guy who can swing the bat. It just happened to work out for us that time because I know that guy is a heck of a player."
  "The thing is when you play a team of this caliber you can't give them runs, and we gave them runs," Astros manager Tim Bogar said. "We had a couple of miscues in the field, but I am still proud of my team in the way they battled. They didn't give up at the end and we had the winning run there. We had who we wanted up but it didn't work out.
  "I think we are playing a lot better defensively, especially in this series," Bogar said. "Against a team like this, I think the guys are more aware of what is going on. I am pretty happy with that, but I am not happy with striking out 26 times in two games. We have to put the bat on the ball and make them make plays."
  The Twins will return to Greeneville tonight and then will host the Johnson City Cardinals through Thursday.