Astros shoot past Twins

star staff

  If last night's game was a sign of things to come this week, the Greeneville Astros can go ahead and order the pennant.
  Mitch Einertson contributed two of the visiting Astros' six home runs in Monday's 12-0 domination of the Elizabethton Twins at O'Brien Field. The Astros cranked out three homers in the third inning and two in the fourth. Combined with 12 other hits, it didn't stack up too well for the home squad.
  With the division race winding down, Greeneville re-extended their lead to three games over Elizabethton going into the Twins' last home game of the season tonight at 7 p.m.
  "I think we made them mad last night," said Elizabethton manager Ray Smith. "They brought out the big guns tonight. We were hurt by our lack of location and we got behind."
  "That was a pretty impressive power display out there," he said. "They got balls they could drop the head on. They haven't hit the long ball that much at all outside of Einertson. It only counts as one loss. We can come back tomorrow, we're 0-0 now, and try to win the series."
   Juan Gutierrez gave up six hits in his seven innings of work on the mound for the Astros, striking out five in his last three innings. His reliever, Luis Sotro, struck out four in the last two stanzas.
  Offensively, Elizabethton left two runners upon base on four different occasions. Johnny Woodard was the team's only bright spot at the plate with a three-of-four performance.
  Greeneville got going in the first inning with a leadoff triple from Jordan Parraz. Einertson grounded one to third, but David Winfree bobbled the ball as he was about to turn a double play thus providing the error.
  Jose Acosta made the team pay. Acosta began the 'Nightmare on Ash Street' with his squad's first homer of the game, a three-run shot towards a front yard behind the park.
  David Shinskie bounced back on the mound for Elizabethton with a solid second inning. Things went sour again for the ace.
  Jordan Parraz and Einertson went back-to-back with jacks over the left-field wall to begin the frame.
  An Acosta single set up Bryan Triplett with a two-run shot of his own to make it a quick 7-0 game for the visiting Astronomicals.
  In the fourth, it was Jose Hernandez's turn. Hernandez led off with a solo shot on reliever J.P. Martinez, who got rocked again two batters later when Einertson grabbed his 22nd 300-plus-foot drive of the year. The homer brings the center fielder just two away from the short season Appy League record.
  Kevin Culpepper took the mound for the Twins in the fifth and held Greeneville off until the seventh when Triplett singled and scored on an RBI grounder from J.R. Towles.
  In the eighth, it was Evan Meek's turn. Meek walked Jordan Parraz and dealt a double Wallace Torbert. Pedro Espinoza grabbed a two-run pinch hit single to make it 12-0. Meek stopped the bleeding in the ninth.
  All but one of the Astros got on base Monday night. Acosta and Triplett each had three hits, while Hernandez, Parraz, Einertson, Justin Towles and Waladamir Sutil each had two for Greeneville.
  The attendance of 962 brings Elizabethton's season total to 25,892, a new season record for the smallest park in professional baseball.
  Elizabethton's home record comes to .500 percent on the season, and the team hopes to take their last home game before embarking on a big road trip. Last season, the team's last stretch of games got them in the championship series. With some luck and solid play, they could be back.