JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - The Johnson City Cardinals fell 15-7 to the Elizabethton Twins on Bank of Tennessee Dollar Monday at Cardinal Park. With the win by the Twins, the series is now tied at one and will be decided on Tuesday night at East Tennessee State's Thomas Stadium.
Like Johnson City did on Sunday afternoon, the Elizabethton Twins (11-7) jumped ahead early with a three-run first inning that was concluded with a two-run home run. Jeremias Pineda was struck out to start the game, but a dropped third strike and throwing error by Jose Gomez allowed him to reach the base path safely. Nick Gordon then singled to move Pineda to third. Max Murphy collected the night's first of many RBIs by hitting a sacrifice fly to left field. With a 1-0 lead, Elizabethton's Tyler Mautner came to the plate with two out and hit a two-run home run over the wall in left-center field to put the Twins up 3-0.
The Cardinals (11-6) then answered with their own three-run first inning to tie the game. Casey Turgeon took the first pitch of the inning and dropped it into left field for a single. Blake Drake would then leg out a perfectly placed bunt single on the second pitch of the inning. Cole Lankford was then able to score Turgeon with a double down the left field line to make it 3-1. Drake then scored to make it 3-2 after Casey Grayson grounded out to the shortstop. Chris Rivera extended his hit streak to 13 games with a one-out single to left field that scored Lankford and tied the game at three.
After a quick top half of the second, the Cardinals continued to score in their second time to the plate. Turgeon collected his second hit of the game with two outs in the inning. Drake would score Turgeon from first with a double off the right field wall that put Johnson City up 4-3.
The Twins were able to get their bats going again in the third as they put up another three spot and were able to take the lead for good as they would score in every inning after except the eighth. Max Murphy started the inning strong with a leadoff home run to tie the game at four. After Tyler Kuresa was retired, Mautner singled on a high chopper to third base. Trey Vavra and Alex Real then hit back-to-back doubles. A passed ball allowed Mautner to score, while Real scored Vavra to make it 6-4 after three innings.
The Cardinals would attempt a comeback in the fifth as they cut the deficit to one at 8-7, but the Twins still had plenty of gas in the tank as they put up two runs in the sixth and seventh then three in the ninth to close out the 15-7 victory. In the Cardinals' fifth, they scored three runs on just one hit and two errors. A hit by pitch and stolen base also helped the Cardinals plate their three runs. Carlos Torres' two-out RBI-single to center field was the only hit in the inning.
Michael Cederoth (1-0) earned his first victory for the Twins as he pitched five full innings allowing seven runs with four earned on seven hits with two strikeouts. Jordan DeLorenzo (0-1) was the losing pitcher for Johnson City. DeLorenzo allowed seven runs while only four were earned on eight Elizabethton hits. DeLorenzo also fanned three Twins' batters.
The Twins and Cardinals will play the decisive third game tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at ETSU's Thomas Stadium. Stephen Gonsalves (1-0, 3.21 ERA) will be the starting pitcher for the visiting Twins, while the Cardinals have not yet determined their starter.