Sixth inning downfall for 'Betsy Twins


star staff


  Jake and Elwood weren't the only ones singing the Blues Tuesday night.
  Tarrence Patterson almost had a two-game win streak, but the Elizabethton Twins' mound provided a Twilight Zone for its backing defense during the sixth inning.
  Patterson belted two homers over the wall at Joe O'Brien Field, but Danville took advantage of poor 0-2 decisions by the Elizabethton pitching staff in the sixth inning and cranked out eight runs.
  Elizabethton did its best to bounce back with homers from Luke Hughes and Javier Sanchez late in the game, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Tribe, who won 8-6.
  "You've got to play the game nine innings and we played a pretty good eight innings," said Elizabethton manager Ray Smith. "We got two strikes on some hitters out there and couldn't get a kill shot to put away a hitter. We had an easy time getting two, but we had a hard time putting someone out."
  Danville got 13 hits in the game, seven of which came in the sixth. Elizabethton had 11.
  "We swung the bats and we had a chance to win the game late, but it wasn't our night," the coach added. "We made enough mistakes in that one inning to last us a week."
  Patterson, who also put two over the wall at Bluefield on July 16, began Elizabethton's scoring effort in the bottom of the first by leading off with his first shot, a solo smack, which hit the light stand in left-center.
  That was the only offense the squad would amount until Patterson and shortstop Trevor Plouffe had back-to-back singles in the third.
  Elizabethton took off again in the fifth after Johnny Woodard walked, setting up Patterson's second shot, which landed in Twins Clubhouse manager Dave McQueen's front yard.
  "I've been seeing the ball really well," said Patterson.
  Plouffe followed with a double to get Danville's starting pitcher, Matt Harrison, off the mound.
  The Twins eventually loaded the bags with a walk to David Winfree and a single from Javy Lopez before falling on outs with a 3-0 lead.
  Before the top of the sixth, the visiting Blues Brothers should've drove around the field in their police car singing their popular song "Twist it," adding, "Hit it, hit it baby."
  That's what Danville did.
  Carl Loadenthal, Carlos Moreta and J.C. Holt each had an RBI single to tie the game for the Braves, but the team went around the order adding punishment.
  John Williams replaced Chris Marini on the mound and dealt a two-run double to Van Pope, a two-run triple to Brandon Jones and an RBI single to Keith Eichas before the end of their frame.
  Elizabethton began to battle back against Danville with Australian second baseman Hughes' solo shot to right field in the bottom of the sixth.
  Sanchez eased things a little for the Twins in the seventh. Winfree reached on an error and Sanchez drove one of his own over the right field wall to close things at 8-6.
  When things looked prosperous for Elizabethton, they quickly went sour.
  Danville got help from its third pitcher, Bryan Johnson, who sat the Twins down with the flick of his pitch striking out two in the eighth, including Jay Yaconetti who was ejected from the game.
  The Braves almost had things go their way again with two on the ninth, but Kyle Aselton slowed them down with two strikeouts.
  Elizabethton did have a chance to win the game in the ninth with Plouffe reaching on a fielder's choice and Deacon Burns coming through with a big double.
  Brad Nelson got the call in the Danville bullpen and got the outs to end the game.
  Danny Collins got the win for Danville after replacing Harrison for 2.2 innings of work with four strikeouts. Marini grabbed the loss for the Twins.
  Patterson led the Twins with three hits, while Plouffe and Sanchez had two. Eichas had three for the Braves, who got two from Clint Sammons, Loadenthal and Carlos Moreta.