Take what they give you… Twins score walk-off win over Rays in 10 innings

Published 6:00 am Friday, July 26, 2019



The Elizabethton Twins scored the fifth walk-off win of the season on Wednesday night with a 7-6 victory over Princeton at Northeast Community Credit Union ballpark.

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The Twins tied the game with a pair of runs in the ninth and took advantage of wildness from Ryan Allain, the fourth pitcher of the night for the Rays in the 10th, with three of the last four Twins runs coming in on wild pitches.

Ben Gross opened on the mound for the Twins (19-14) and he pitched well until running into trouble in the fifth when Nick Schnell opened the frame with a double to leftfield.

Gross retired the next two hitters before walking the next two to load the bases.

Rays second baseman Brett Wisely then ripped a triple to right-centerfield to plate all three runners and end the night for Gross.

Lefty Denny Bentley came on for Gross and he struck out Jelfry Marte to end the inning.

Gross pitched 4.2 innings striking out three and walking four while giving up just three hits, but three earned runs as well.

The shutout for Princeton righthander Taj Bradley came to an end when Max Smith crushed his fifth home run of the season with Charlie Mack on with a walk to make it a 3-2 game.

For Smith, it was his third straight game with a long ball and he now has driven in 13 runs this season.

“I’m seeing the ball well and just looking for a pitch to handle and do damage with,” Smith said. “We never feel like we are out of any game, to be honest, and we just want to keep doing it. A win is a win no matter how you do it.”

The Rays (17-17) got to Bentley in the seventh on a leadoff double by Aldenis Sanchez and a bunt single from Yunior Martinez and a ground ball out that brought Sanchez home from third and made it a 4-2 Princeton lead.

Steven Cruz came on for the Twins in the eighth and after striking out the first two hitters, he gave up a single and a pair of walks to load the bases. A passed ball allowed a run to score to give Princeton a 5-2 advantage.

Bradley pitched five complete innings giving up two runs on two hits, striking out five and walking three.

Angel Felipe came into the game in the sixth and he pitched two scoreless frames before Willie Joe Garry, Jr. opened the eighth with a triple to right.

Righthander Mitchell Walters relieved Felipe and Twins designated hitter Anthony Prato pushed Garry home with a ground ball to make it 5-3. Parker Phillips smashed a double to centerfield but Rays Nick Schnell and second baseman Wisely combined to throw him out at third to end the inning.

Walters collapsed in the ninth, hitting Smith with a pitch with two away and Ruben Santana doubled to put Twins runners on second and third. Two wild pitches plated two runs to tie the game and send it into extra frames.

International tie-breaker rules put Marte on second and Luis Leon drove him in with a single to put the Rays in front 6-5.

Will Holland pinch ran for catcher Kyle Schmidt at second base for the Twins in the last of the 10th with Ryan Allain coming on in relief for Princeton.

Garry drew a walk and Prato reached on an error by Wisely at second base, allowing Holland to score and put Garry at third.

Seth Gray struck out but Phillips walked to load the bases. Matt Wallner then struck out on a ball that got away from Princeton catcher Kevin Melendez and Garry raced home with the winning run.

“After 30-something years I have learned just to see what happens when the dust settles and see if you are the winner or the loser,” Twins manager Ray Smith said. “We scored our last three runs on wild pitches, so you never know.

“It doesn’t happen often, but the games can get kind of ugly sometimes and sometimes your on the delivering end and sometimes on the receiving end.”

E-Twins 7-6 (10 innings)

Princeton 000 030 110 1 – 6 7 2

E-Twins   000 020 012 2 – 7 5 0

W – German ( ) L – Allain ( )