The Twins kept on hitting and scoring runs, earning their eighth win in nine games with a 6-5 decision over Greeneville in an Appalachian League baseball game Wednesday night at Joe O’Brien Field.
Elizabethton has scored 81 runs in its last nine games.
Improving to 17-9 on the season, Elizabethton maintained control of first place in the West Division. Last-place Greeneville fell to 9-17.
Bottom of the eighth
With the game tied at 5, Ryan Jeffers started things with a double and advanced to third on a balk. He scored when Trevor Larnach’s smash couldn’t be handled by the first baseman. The ball ricocheted to the second baseman, and he had a clean shot at Jeffers at the plate. But his throw was way over the head of the catcher, and Jeffers scored to put the Twins ahead.
With the score deadlocked at 1-1, the Twins went to work in the bottom of the sixth inning. They showed off their shiny new $2.55 million toy as Larnach matched his first professional hit, a line shot to right field, with his initial RBI. He would chip in his first run when Trevor Casanova cranked a two-run homer over the right-center field fence for a 5-1 lead.
Larnach, who was the Twins’ first-round pick in the recent First-Year Player Draft and No. 20 overall, hit .327 with 17 home runs and 65 RBIs while helping Oregon State win the NCAA title earlier this summer.
In his first pro game, he finished 1 for 4 with two RBIs but squared it up three times.
“It felt pretty good,” said Larnach. “The hits will come. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about going up there with the right approach and putting the barrel on the ball. If you do that, everything else is uncontrollable.
“I’m just excited to start playing again. It has been little while, about two weeks or so.”
Twins manager Ray Smith said the 6-foot-4, 210-pound outfielder has plenty of maturity.
“He’s mature as a human being, and he’s mature in his hitting approach,” said Smith. “He goes up there with a hit plan. He’s not a big-league player yet, but he has real good tools and a high upside.”
Greeneville got even in the eighth inning on the strength of three unearned runs. A two-out error eventually led to a game-tying three-run homer by Hunter Oliver.
It was a big evening for Oliver, the Reds’ catcher, who finished 4 for 4.
Twins starter Tyler Palm put his team in position to win by tossing five strong innings. He allowed six hits and one run with no walks and three strikeouts.
Moises Gomez (2-0) got the win while Derek Molina earned his third save of the season with a solid ninth inning.
At the plate
Lean Marrero was the only Twins’ player with two hits as Elizabethton made six hits account for six runs.
These teams meet again Thursday at 7 p.m.