Twins win Appy title in dramatic fashion

from staff reports
MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- As Twins radio announcer Frank Santore screamed so enthusiastically, "The Twins Won The Pennant."
Trailing 2-0 throughout the majority of their decisive playoff game against the Martinsville Astros, the Elizabethton Twins were in dire need of a gift. The gift came at the bat of Chehalis, Wash. product Brock Peterson.
Peterson led a rally in the seventh inning as the 'Betsy Bombers tied the contest at two apiece, then delivered a big opening single and scored on a J.R. Taylor sacrifice fly in the ninth to send it into the 10th inning.
Then, in the 10th, Peterson drove across Dusty Gomon to give Elizabethton its first lead. It would be the only lead that counted as stellar defense held on to bring home the franchise's sixth Appalachian League title with a 5-3 victory Thursday night at Hooker Field.
Despite solid pitching from starter Chris Schutt, Elizabethton, which took the best-of-3 series 2-1, fell behind in the first inning after Winfield Garcia singled to open the game. Garcia advanced to second on a passed ball and advanced to third, before scoring on a wild throw from Twins shortstop Taylor.
The Astros were at it again when Mark Saccomanno went yard in the third inning, to take the 2-0 edge.
Elizabethton couldn't get anything going offensively until the seventh, when Gomon singled and Peterson brought in an RBI triple. Justin Arneson followed with an RBI single to tie the game.
However, Martinsville rallied back when Kevin Vital walked and Hamilton Sarabia singled to put two in scoring position for the Astros. Lance Koenig flew out with a sacrificed fly, allowing Vital to tag up and give Martinsville a 3-2 lead going into the eighth inning.
Neither team scored in the eighth inning, leaving Elizabethton one final chance, in the ninth.
The Twins capitalized when Peterson opened with a single to left field and advanced on an error. Ryan Spataro singled to turn the clock for the Twins and Taylor came up huge with a sacrifice fly to score Peterson, tying the game.
Denard Span singled and Angelo Fermin walked for Elizabethton to load the bases. However, Kyle Phillips flew out to close the inning.
Another tough frame of defense, led by relief pitcher Julio DePaula, brought the Twins into the 10 inning, when Gomon led off with a single. Ron Perodin singled to left center to set up Peterson, who singled in the Twins' lead.
Arneson was hit by a pitch and Ryan Spataro walked with the bases juiced, giving Elizabethton a 5-3 lead.
The Twins cut it close defensively in the tenth before Jimmy Speigner was called upon to close out the game for the second night in a row. Speigner helped record the final two outs as Elizabethton took the victory.
Peterson led the squad with three hits, while Span, Gomon and Perodin each had two of the Twins' 12 hits in the game. Fermin, Arneson and Spataro added a hit apiece.
Schutt delivered a solid six innings to start the game with nine strikeouts before former Auburn Tiger Eric Brandon was called upon for relief.
DePaula took the victory in one and a third innings on the mound. He had two strikeouts before Brandon's college and professional teammate, Speigner, took the save.
Winfield Garcia led Martinsville with three hits in the game.