Big deficit too much for Twins to overcome vs. Kingsport

star staff

  In their second meeting of a three-game stretch against Kingsport, the Elizabethton Twins lost ground in their chase to the regular-season title.
  On Friday, the Elizabethton dropped its second straight game to the Mets in a 9-4 final, putting the team two games behind Western Division leader Greeneville.
  "You've got to try to play every inning as hard as you can, and we'll see where we stand in about a week," said Elizabethton manager Ray Smith. "It's not going to change our approach at all, and we'll just try to win the rest of the games and see what happens."
  Elizabethton experienced trouble right out of the gate, when two hits from the Mets set up a two-run lead after the first inning.
  Josh Wyrick led off for Kingsport with a grounder down the third base line, then Russ Triplett followed with a double toward the same spot.
  A wild pitch from Kyle Assleton allowed Wyrick to score, and a sacrifice fly from Seth Pietsch brought home Triplett.
  The Twins managed to get runners on base in seven of the nine innings played, but it took them the bottom of the seventh until they brought in a run.
  Meanwhile, the Mets were not having any trouble in capitalizing off of runners on base.
  In the top of the fourth, a home run to right field from Horace Lawrance drove in Pietsch to give the Mets a 4-0 lead.
  Assleton was pulled after the third frame, and Dennis Medina came in to relieve for the next two innings.
  Things didn't go any smoother for Medina during the fifth, as he gave up four hits and issued two walks with three runs scoring.
  "Assleton started developing a blister on his finger during the second inning, so we had too pull him after three," said Smith. "Medina just had a hard time locating and got knocked around a little bit."
  A walk to Triplett was followed by a two-run homer from Travis Garcia to left field.
  Pietsch scored after being driven home on a liner to left field by Lawrance, which put the Mets up 7-0 after five frames of action.
  Javier Martinez replaced Medina to start the top of the sixth, but a walk to lead-off batter Johan Camacho resulted in a score.
  After advancing on a wild pitch and ground out, Camacho scored when Martinez threw his second wild pitch of the inning.
  Elizabethton had left seven runners stranded through the first six innings, leaving the bases loaded in the fifth, but the Twins finally caught a break in the bottom of the seventh to capture three runs.
  "All our hits were singles. We out-hit them 14-10, but they were all singles and didn't come at the right time," said Smith. "We did minimum damage, and they hit the gaps with runners in scoring position, and they were bombs. So when it came to the hits, they were more efficient."
  Elizabethton's Heath Anderson and Luke Hughes went for singles, and a blooper to shallow right by Landon Burt loaded the bases.
  The first run for the Twins crossed when a walk to Deacon Burns brought in Anderson.
  The next two runs were scored when a sacrifice fly to deep center field by Jeremy Pickrel drove in Hughes, and a base-hit to left-field from David Winfree brought home Burt.
  "When you get down early and by a lot, then it's hard to come back," said Pickrel. "We made a pretty good run at it, but we just didn't get the timely hit we needed, except for the one inning we scored three runs."
  The Twins brought in Evan Meek to pitch the eighth inning, as this made the fifth pitcher to start out with either a walk or base hit to the first hitter faced.
  A walk to Rafael Arrayo led to the ninth run scored by Kingsport, when a grounder to left field from Garcia brought home the lead-off batter.
  "You've got to get ahead, and pitching is upsetting the timing and throwing strikes, but when you get behind then you've got to throw the pitches in the zone, and that's when you get knocked around," said Smith.
  Elizabethton trailed by six runs heading into the final frame, as the Twins tried to spark a rally with the first three hitters reaching base on singles.
  A hit from Burns to left-center field brought home Burt, but a ground-out fro Pickrel resulted in a double-play to drown out the rally.
  "We've just got too keep hacking at it, have our pitchers to throw strikes and keep putting up runs, then we'll be all right," said Pickrel. "It's hard to come back from an 8-0 deficit, but we gave it our best effort, and that's all you can ask for."