Twins bat barrage clubs Tribe

By Allen LaMountain

   With the assortment of injuries suffered in the past few weeks by the Elizabethton Twins, you could understand if Betsy was feeling a bit sorry for itself.
   However, after unleashing a 13-hit attack upon the Burlington Indians on Wednesday night at Joe O'Brien Field in a 15-3 Twins win it may be more appropriate to feel sorry for the Tribe pitchers who suffered the slugging onslaught.
   Betsy got to Burlington starter T.J. Burton (1-4, 7.71) for five runs in the second frame, as the Twins used a combination of stellar hitting, with some fielding blunders by the Tribe, to stake Betsy hurler Scott Tyler to a five-run advantage.
   Doug Deeds opened with a double - his 13th of the season - and moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch. After a walk by Daniel Marin, Edgardo LeBron drove in the first of his six RBI on the night - a career high - with a grounder.
   "It was good to see LeBron drive in some runs tonight," said Twins manager Ray Smith. "He swung the bat like a corner producer should. I hope this gives him a boost of confidence, but it's still a learning process for him right now."
   Sam Taylor drove in a run with a single and Garret Guzman plated two more with a single to center. On the night Guzman finished two-for-five with his 15th double of the season, and could have gotten another in the eighth, but left fielder Luis Hodge was given an error on the play.
   "I was a little upset about that," said Guzman. "I thought it could have been a double. I struggled early on with my average, but it isn't bothering me anymore. I think I was more consistent overall last year and when you start badly it's hard to bring your average back up."
   Guzman drove in three runs on the night to bring his total to 37, which puts him four behind team leader Dusty Gomon, who could be shelved for the next few games with a forearm injury.
   Tyler (7-1, 3.31) went five frames of three-hit mound work, striking out five and walking two and in the process became the Appalachian League's winningest hurler.
   Tyler also leads the league in strikeouts with 76, despite going with less than his best stuff on the night. "I didn't feel real comfortable out there tonight," commented Tyler. "My arm is a little tired at this stage so I went more with my breaking ball tonight, and it was good enough to get over for strikes."
   Deeds - batting in the cleanup spot - responded with a two-for-four night with a pair of RBI. When asked if he felt up to the task of replacing Gomon for a spell Deeds replied, "Maybe, but the way we played tonight, anyone could have stepped in. It was fun to watch out there."
   Marin also has a tough chore as both Danny Matienzo and Cory Agar are on the shelf, so it will be up to Marin to handle most of the catching chores.
   "We called a kid up from the GCL," said Smith referring to catcher Justin Elliott. "He was our bench tonight, and I'm not joking. (Whit)Rock is hurting, Sims is nicked so we may have to do some cut and paste with the lineup for a while."
   Tim Henkenjohann relieved Tyler but failed to retire a hitter in the Tribe sixth as Burlington scored three runs to make it a 7-3 contest, as Josh Hill came on with the bases full of Indians and no one out.
   Hill induced Domingo Vasquez to hit into a double play and struck out Angel Abreu to get out of the jam. Henkenjohann gave up just one hit, but walked two and hit Hodge with a pitch to give Burlington extra base runners.
   In the eighth LeBron crushed his first career grand slam to cap the scoring on the night, and LeBron said, "It's my first ever grand slam, and the most runs I have ever driven in, in one game. I was looking for something to drive in that at-bat, and when I hit it I knew it was gone."
   E-Twins notes : Betsy's locker room is like an infirmary with several players nursing an assortment of injuries. Gomon is listed as day to day and said, "It's up to me. Whenever I feel like I'm ready to go, but I'm going to rush it." Whitrock, who's bad back is feeling better thinks he's ready to come back, saying, "I could play tomorrow if they need me. I had never been injured before so it's kind of a strange thing."