Twins gain needed win against Astros


star staff


  The first-inning jitters have become a common thing for Kyle Waldrop.
  Grabbing the start in a must-win division battle against the Greeneville Astros, Farragut's Waldrop gave up four of his eight hits and two runs in the first inning, but came back with six strikeouts and held the rivals scoreless through the rest of his seven innings on the mound.
  That, two costly errors and a three-run fifth inning helped the Elizabethton Twins gain a game in the standings with a 4-2 victory in front of 1,051 at Joe O'Brien Field Sunday night.
  The visiting Astros still lead Elizabethton by two games in the West Division columns.
  They meet 'Betsy at Riverside Stadium the next two nights, including tonight's United Way Community Night, with Tuesday's battle being the last Twins home game of the year.
  Greeneville got going in the first with a pair of singles from Ryan Reed and Mitch Einertson. Jose Acosta powered Reed across the plate on a single, later scoring on a Neil Sellers hit.
  Greeneville's Troy Patton gave the Twins a tough time in their first three innings with five of his six strikeouts. Elizabethton finally solved the opposing ace in the fourth.
  Javier Sanchez reached safely after an error to kick off the stanza for the Twins.
  A David Winfree single and Javi Lopez fielder's choice set up an RBI grounder, courtesy of Landon Burt, to pull the home team within one.
  After Waldrop struck out two of the three he faced in the top of the inning, the home team continued its success in the fifth when Deacon Burns was walked, only to score on a big RBI triple from Jeremy Pickrel.
  It prompted a change on the mound, but Ryan Thompson couldn't do much better.
  Sanchez grabbed a big single into left, moving on a throwing error allowing Pickrel to give Elizabethton the edge. Winfree and Lopez were walked to load things up for Woodard, who delivered a sacrifice fly into center to make it 4-2.
  Bryan Triplett doubled in the sixth for the Astros, but Waldrop struck out two more to end the inning. Elizabethton's defense continued its solid play in the seventh with three quick outs.
  Last week's Appy League Pitcher of the Week Frank Mata didn't let the Twins down.
  Mata struck out the side in the eighth, and picked up his 11th save of the year, the second best in the Appy League.
  Winfree picked up a game-leading three hits for Elizabethton, while Luke Hughes and Sanchez each added two. Acosta and Chris Uhle had two for Greeneville.
  The win brings Waldrop's record to 2-0 with a 3.5 ERA.