JOHNSON CITY, TN - Thursday night's game was one of the most complete games the Elizabethton Twins played all season. Every hitter in the lineup recorded at least one hit, starter Ryley Widell pitched six strong innings and the Twins beat the Johnson City Cardinals 14-4.For the first time in
JOHNSON CITY, TN - Thursday night's game was one of the most complete games the Elizabethton Twins played all season. Every hitter in the lineup recorded at least one hit, starter Ryley Widell pitched six strong innings and the Twins beat the Johnson City Cardinals 14-4.
For the first time in his career, Widell pitched six full innings, he surrendered just three runs on three hits and two walks while striking out seven. He retired the Cardinals 1-2-3 in the first, third and sixth innings, only giving up a home run in the second and a two-run double in the fourth.
Top to bottom, everyone in the Twins lineup contributed Thursday night. All nine starters had at least one hit, while five of the nine had two or more. Eight players drove in a run, while eight scored a run and seven of the nine both drove in and scored a run.
On top of the timely hits, the team also was patient at the plate. Seven of the team's 51 at-bats were eight pitches or longer, with 16 of the 51 lasting at least five pitches. The Twins drew six walks as an offense as well, with two coming from Ruben Santana.
Elizabethton's scoring started in the first with three runs, as Will Holland was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs, then Trevor Jensen singled in two to give the Twins an early 3-0 lead.
Seth Gray brought a run home in the second when he scored Willie Joe Garry Jr. on a fielder's choice, then the Twins broke the game open in the third, scoring eight runs on six hits, an error and a hit batter.
Max Smith doubled to start the inning and Holland singled him home. Jensen singled and Janigson Villalobos singled home Holland for four straight hits to start the inning
Garry Jr. loaded the bases on a fielder's choice play that featured an error, Santana singled home Jensen and Parker Phillips was hit by a pitch with the bases still loaded that scored Villalobos.
Moments later, Smith pulled the moment entirely in the E-Twins' favor with a grand slam to left field, his seventh home run of the year and Elizabethton's fifth grand slam as a team in 2019.
Two more runs scored in the eighth for an added boost and Steven Cruz pitched the game's final three innings, striking out two with just an unearned run allowed to earn his first save of the year.
Smith went 3-5 in the game, finishing a triple shy of the cycle, while Santana, Phillips, Jensen and Villalobos each recorded 2 or more hits. Beyond Smith's four runs batted in, Santana, Holland and Jensen each drove in two, while Phillips, Holland, Jensen and Garry Jr. scored two, on top of three runs that Smith scored.
With six games left, the Twins return home for the remainder of the regular season with three against the Danville Braves and three against the Greeneville Reds. Elizabethton is still very much in the hunt for a postseason berth, 2.5 games out of first place and 2.0 games out of second, as the top two teams in the Appalachian League West Division make the playoffs.
For tickets and more information, visit elizabethtontwins.com.