Twins ride Burt past Kingsport

  By Tim Chambers
  KINGSPORT--Sesame Street wasn't playing at Hunter-Wright Stadium Tuesday night and Ernie was nowhere to be found. But Burt was there and he stood out much taller than the gigantic Big Bird.
  Landon Burt hammered three hits, including his first home run of the season, leading the Twins to a 6-2 win over Kingsport in Appy League play. The win left Twins fans jubilant while Mets fans went home madder than Oscar the Grouch.
  "I am more of a contact hitter," stated Burt, who played his college baseball under future Hall of Fame player and former San Diego star Tony Guinn at San Diego State University. "Tony always told me to do the things that I do best and the rest would take care of itself.
  "I'm not a power hitter but I got an inside pitch and was able to drive it out of the ball park."
  Kingsport drew first blood in the second inning on back-to-back doubles by Josh Petersen and Felix Cerda. Jeff Landing was cruising for Kingsport over the first three innings, retiring the first nine batters he faced.
  Elizabethton played small ball to perfection in the fourth when Burt led off with an infield single and proceeded to steal second on the next pitch. Trevor Plouffe sent a deep fly to the warning track moving Burt to third.
  An RBI single by Jeremy Pickrel tied the game at 1 after Deacon Burns was beaned on an 0-2 pitch. With runners at second and third, Johnny "Be Good" Woodard proved to be spectacular by smacking a single to left scoring both runners for a 3-1 advantage.
  John Williams gave a stellar performance on the mound, allowing one run over six innings and striking out six. Williams alllowed seven hits and no walks.
  "I didn't think I had my best stuff tonight, but I was able to get a lot of ground ball outs and pop-ups."
  The Tennessee native from Murfreesboro stated it was exciting being in a pennant race.
  "We have a big series next week against Greeneville, so we've got to keep playing well," he said.
  The Twins used the fifth to nail the coffin shut. Matt Tolbert singled to start the inning, then Burt followed with a blast into the grazing area over the right-field wall that landed in the green green grass of home, giving Elizabethton a 5-1 lead.
  Plouffe added a single and later scored when Burns roped a laser off the center-field wall for a 6-1 advantage. Kingsport's only other run came on a solo homer by Seth Pietsch in the eight inning.
  Burt was 3 for 4, raising his average over the .300 mark.
  "This is a great group of guys to play with," stated Burt, a 27th-round draft pick. "Everyone is doing what it takes to win.
  "God is a big part of my life and I give him all the credit for allowing me to play a game that I truly love. It has nothing to do with money. I am having a ball playing baseball in Elizabethton. I hope we can win the championship."
  Elizabethton moved within a game of West Division leader Greeneville, which lost Tuesday night.