Sam Gibbons has quietly put together a solid season in 2014. Thursday might have been the best-fitting notch in the belt.
The right-handed Minnesota prospect hurled seven one-hit innings as Rookie-level Elizabethton defeated Pulaski, 7-1.
Gibbons kept the Mariners out of the hit column until the sixth inning, when Rafael Fernandez doubled with two outs in the frame. The 20-year-old struck out eight and walked two while facing two over the minimum in a game that featured a rain delay lasting more than two hours.
The outing marked the third time this season the Australia native had gone seven innings. He notched his second-highest strikeout total this season, having fanned 11 on July 3 against Bluefield.
Overall, Gibbons is 4-4 and ranked eighth in the Appalachian League with a 3.28 ERA in 11 starts. His 60 strikeouts lead the circuit while only one other pitcher -- Andrew Waszak of Danville -- has surpassed his total of 60 1/3 innings.
After being signed by the Twins as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2011, Gibbons spent the two previous seasons pitching in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, compiling a 7-4 record with a 2.09 ERA in 23 appearances.
Brandon Paulson followed Gibbons and struck out three while allowing a solo homer to Taylor Zeutenhorst in the eighth. Kuo Hua Lo pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to seal the victory.
Tyler Kuresa went 2-for-4 with a double and three RBIs while Nick Gordon, the Twins' No. 6 prospect, added two hits and two runs scored.