Twins sweep Burlington out of Elizabethton

Published 4:12 pm Friday, June 22, 2018

One night after rapping out 19 hits and 15 runs, the Elizabethton Twins bats remained hot on Thursday night at Joe O’Brien Field.
The Elizabethton Twins once again rapped out double-digit hits (16) and swept the three-game set from Burlington as they defend their Appalachian League championship with a 9-5 win.
“You get all these cliches about hitting is contagious, but you never know,” said Twins manager Ray Smith. “We strive for consistency. One day you square up everything, the next day the ball looks like a pea and the law of averages catches up with you, and things can turn on you. You just have to keep battling and striving. This game turns on you quickly.”
Burlington (0-3) scored first on a solo home run in the top of the second from rightfielder Juan Carlos Negret off Twins starter Andrew Cabezas. The Twins (3-0) answered in the last of the third with three runs with third baseman Ariel Montesino singling with one away.
Designated hitter Ryan Jeffers followed with a single to center putting runners on first and second, and cleanup hitter Chris Williams drove in the first Twins run with a base hit to left. After a walk to catcher Trevor Casanova loaded the bases, shortstop Ricky DeLaTorre rapped a tapper to third for an infield single.
In his haste to retire DeLaTorre, Royals third baseman Angel Medina threw the ball past his first baseman allowing two Twins runs to come across for a 3-1 lead. Righthander Carlos Suniaga came on for Cabezas in the top of the fourth, and he pitched well over his two innings of work.
The Royals got a run in the fifth on one hit with catcher Chris Hudgens doubled to right and moved to third on a ground ball to second and came around to score on a grounder to second off the bat of DH Colby Schultz to make it a 3-2 contest.
Betsy got that run back in the bottom half with centerfielder Jared Akins doubling to left to open the frame. Montesino reached on an infield error to put runners on the corners, and Akins scored on a groundout by Jeffers.
In the seventh, the Royals knotted the score at 4-4 against the third Twins pitcher of the night in Blair Lakso. Negret drew a one-out walk, and Dalton Griffin greeted Lakso with a triple to rightfield plating Negret. A wild pitch from Lakso allowed Griffin to score the tying run.
The tie did not last long as the Twins delivered five consecutive hits with two outs against lefty Josh Dye and plated three runs. Jeffers, Williams and DeLaTorre each delivered RBI hits in the frame.
The three-run seventh gave the Twins a 6-4 lead that ballooned to 9-4 with two more in the eighth on an error and the third RBI of the game from Jeffers. Jeffers is hitting a robust .636 at this early stage of the season and has struck out just once in three games.
“I’m seeing the ball well and sticking with my approach,” Jeffers said. “Just trying to wait on my pitch and put the best swing on it I can. We’re playing well as a unit and having fun in the dugout and enjoying the game of baseball.”
E-Twins 9-5
Burlington 010 010 210 – 5 5 3
E-Twins 003 010 32x – 9 16 1
W – Lakso (1-0) L – Dye (0-1)

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