Twins blow away Devil Rays

By Wes Holtsclaw
Before the fireworks took off at Joe O'Brien Field last night, the Elizabethton Twins were sure to make their final home game of the regular season explosive.
Even Meek threw five innings of hitless ball while Ryan Spataro and Dusty Gomon knocked the lights out of the Princeton Devil Rays with an 8-0 victory going into a crucial road stretch at Danville and Kingsport.
"It's funny how it works out," said Twins manager Ray Smith. "Last night, we got lousy hitting and lousy pitching. We didn't put very many good swings on the ball, we didn't catch the ball and you could tell in the result of the game. Tonight we got all three of those components of a winning club."
"It felt good, defense was what did it for me tonight," said Meek, who picked up his sixth win of the season. "I got a lot of ground balls and the outfield made a lot of catches to save me. Everybody played well and it will set us up for a big stand up in Danville, maybe we can get some wins up there."
The Twins went down early in the first inning with two outs before Kyle Phillips walked and Dusty Gomon doubled. However, Phillips missed a cue with hitting coach Jeff Reed, getting tagged out at home.
After two outs to open their second offensive frame, Ryan Spataro had better luck for Elizabethton with a huge solo shot over the scoreboard in right field.
The Barrie, Ontario native was all over the field all night with making heroic grabs left and right, including an incredible dive and catch to end the third inning for Princeton.
Phillips and Gomon had better luck in the third stanza after Phillips singled for another Gomon double, scoring to make it 2-0 in favor of the Twins.
Elizabethton added another run in the fifth inning when Phillips used a sacrifice fly to put Justin Arneson across the plate.
Span got the merry-go-round going again for Elizabethton in the sixth after walks from Ron Perodin and Johnson and a single from Spataro, driving two more runs across with a single.
The luck continued for the 'Betsy Bombers in the seventh inning when Phillips walked for Gomon, who tore it up with his 14th homer of the year over the Pepsi sign in left-field, taking a 7-0 lead.
Perodin battled for the Twins again in the frame with a double, followed by a single from Spataro. Perodin scored on a sacrificed fly, securing an 8-0 lead.
Eric Brandon, Julio DePaula and Jimmy Speigner closed things out for Elizabethton on the mound, with the defense helping record the crucial win.
Denard Span added two hits for Elizabethton, to go with Gomon and Spataro's 3 of 4 outings.
Going into tonight's game at Danville, the Twins are needing to play their best ball in order to get that home playoff game next Tuesday here in Elizabethton.
"I haven't had a chance to stress anything to them, I don't know if I need to, they know what's at stake," Smith said. "They've just got to go out ready to play nine innings and keep that championship level of intensity throughout the game."
"Some of the guys are kind of homesick, ready to go home," said Spataro.
 "But everyone wants that ring, I know I want it; we just got to play well. Danville's going to be a big series, because Pulaski's right on our heels. We got to keep strong and play hard."
"It's huge, because it's good enough that we got this game tonight to carry over into the road series," Gomon added. "If we do get two out of three, hopefully we'd like to sweep them, but we would be more than grateful."
TWINS NOTES: Elizabethton Twins Gomon and Chris Schutt were named to the Appalachian League All-Star team Wednesday afternoon.
"That's pretty good, because I like to show my abilities and make the all-star team whenever I get the chance," Gomon said. "I'm glad to be on the team."
Gomon, hitting over .260, leads the league in home runs and made the team as a first baseman. Schutt leads the Appy League in strikeouts and has a 1.98 ERA with his 5-2 record.