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Twins work 10 innings to edge Danville

Gene Renfro • Updated Jul 7, 2018 at 11:04 PM

ELIZABETHTON—On Saturday night at Joe O’Brien Field, the Elizabethton Twins were given their introduction to Minor League Baseball’s new extra-inning rule.

The Twins also gained a victory, overcoming three one-run deficits for a 6-5, 10-inning conquest of Danville.

“I always thought the extra-inning games were the fun games to manage because you have to make moves,” Elizabethton manager Ray Smith said. “I don’t mind playing 14, 15 innings.”

TENTH-INNING STORY

Under the new rule, a runner is placed at second base at the start of each inning after the ninth. The Braves put Andrew Moritz on second to open the top half of the 10th.

Twins’ pitcher Zach Neff recorded two outs, but Justin Dean singled deep in the hole on the left side of the infield. A.J. Graffanino followed with another ground-ball single for the run-scoring hit, putting the Braves on top 5-4.

The Twins’ part of the 10th started with Alex Robles at second base. Zach Guth uncorked a wild pitch to put Robles at third, then Ricky De La Torre struck out before DaShawn Keirsey Jr. lined an RBI double to center field.

A walk to Andrew Cosgrove brought pinch-hitter Albee Weiss to the plate and a passed ball moved both runners up 90 feet.

Weiss hit a 3-2 pitch back softly toward Guth, who misplayed the fielding opportunity trying to get Keirsey Jr. at home for the game-ending play.

Keirsey Jr. finished the night 3 for 5 as the Twins pounded out 11 hits. Robles also had two hits.

Neff threw the final 2 2/3 innings with three hits allowed and the unearned run to improve to 2-0 on the season. Guth (1-1), who took the loss and a blown save, was credited with a third of an inning with two unearned runs on a hit.

OUTCOME AND NEXT GAME

The Twins improved to 9-7 and moved back into a tie for first place as Kingsport lost 6-5 at Bluefield. Danville has a 9-8 record as the two teams resume the series at 6 p.m. Sunday.

TWINS RALLY THREE TIMES

Danville led 3-2 and the Twins tied things in the sixth with an RBI single from Lean Marrero. A 4-3 deficit in the bottom of the seventh was erased by a home run off Chris Williams’ bat.

Williams, who had two hits in the game, moved atop the Appalachian League standings with homer number six in 16 games. The final rally came in the form of the extra-frame scores.

“You have to battle for the length of time you’re out there and if you get behind early, you have more chances,” Smith said about his team’s ability to overcome three deficits in the contest. “It gives everyone a chance in a pressure situation.”

BURNS GOES DEEP

Marrero started a first-inning attack when he reached on a fielding error by second baseman Greg Cullen. That brought up Colton Burns, who deposited a pitch over the fence in right center.

Elizabethton almost got another run the next inning, but De La Torre was called out for leaving too early on a potential sacrifice fly by Cosgrove. The Twins left the bases loaded in the third.

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