Wade leads Twins to 12th inning win
Published 8:09 am Friday, August 7, 2015
JOHNSON CITY – The Elizabethton Twins and Johnson City Cardinals series finale Thursday kept going until Lamonte Wade dealt a blast to break the tie.
Wade came up in the top of the 12th and hit a two-run home run for the game winner for the Twins to take the win 4-2. Kamran Young was on base in front of him. He had a two-out single to right before Wade’s ball sailed over the high fence in right giving him his sixth home run of the Appalachian League season.
With the win, the Twins improved to 20-22 while the Cardinals slipped to 21-20 in a bunched up Appalachian League West Division. Elizabethton and Johnson City were the only two teams in the division to play Thursday as rain changed the schedule for the other three. Elizabethton moved back into a tie for third with Kingsport and Bristol ended up 2.5 games behind leader Greeneville. Johnson City owns second now, just a game behind Greeneville.
Elizabethton took the lead in the sixth. After a groundout, Wade doubled to center to get into scoring position. Chris Paul then sent a single to right for the first RBI of the evening.
The Twins added another run an inning later. Jermaine Palacios provided the run-scoring single to left. Brian Olson scored on the play after a lead-off single and he moved up 90 feet thanks to a sacrifice bunt. Through his first five at bats, Olson had three of the Twins’ hits to bump his average up to .455.
The home side answered in the bottom of the seventh. Allen Staton doubled to right as Magneuris Sierra scored after reaching with a bunt single. Joey Hawkins pushed in Staton with a two-out single to left to tie things at two apiece.
After that, the next two innings went in order for both sides.
Johnson City threatened in their half of the 10th. With runners on the corner, Twins’ manager Ray Smith brought in Kuo Hua Lo who induced a groundout to end that threat.
The two teams had runners in scoring position throughout the night, but seldom cashed in. Elizabethton was 2-for-11 through 11 innings with runners in scoring position. On the other side the Cardinals were better at 2-for-10. The Twins stranded nine runners on base, one more than Johnson City, until the start of the 12th inning.
Part of the stalemate can be attributed to the bullpens of each side. C.K. Irby and Lo combined for four scoreless innings with two hits allowed. Irby struck out four of the 10 Cardinals he faced. Lo’s lone strikeout came with the bases full of Cardinals in the bottom of the 11th. Johnson City’s Jhonathan Escudero tossed three shutout frames.
Lo went on to finish the game and improve his record to 2-1. The Twins’ hurler struck out the side in the bottom of the 12th.
The Twins return to Elizabethton and welcome the Bluefield Blue Jays for a weekend series. The first contest Friday has a 7 p.m. scheduled first pitch with game times Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. Elizabethton started the 2015 season with a 9-5 win at Bluefield before the Blue Jays took the next two meetings.