The Twins did it last, however, as they slipped past the Rays for a 7-6 win. Michael Helman’s two-run, sixth-inning home run represented the deciding blow.
Up 3-0 on Chris Williams’ two-run homer and a Ricky De La Torre solo shot in the first two innings, Elizabethton saw its lead vanish in the form of a four-run Princeton third.
Jordyn Muffley’s one-out double got the Rays in gear, Connor Hollis had an RBI single and Wander Franco belted a two-run double before Osmy Gregorio supplied a run-scoring triple.
One inning later, Vincent Byrd’s two-bagger coupled with RBI singles from Hollis and Jonathan Aranda widened the gap to 6-3 in the Rays’ favor.
With Princeton’s offense unable to do further damage on the night, the Twins quickly took advantage of the situation. In the bottom half of the fifth, Ryan Jeffers pounded a two-out double before Williams walked and Trevor Lamach reached by error to load the bases — setting up Robert Molina’s two-run single.
Now down 6-5, Elizabethton needed just one more inning to move back in front. After the Rays left the bases loaded in the top of the sixth, Tyler Webb met new Princeton pitcher Stephen Yancey (2-1) with a bunt single. One batter later, Helman homered to left-center field.
Jeffers headed a 12-hit Elizabethton assault by going 3 for 4 with two runs. De La Torre and Helman each batted 2 for 4, with Williams (2 runs), Molina and Helman each contributing two RBIs.
Hollis (2 runs) and Gregorio turned in 2-for-5 efforts for Princeton. Hollis and Franco each knocked in two runs.
Relieving starter Josh Winder to begin the fifth, Pedro Garcia (2-2) pitched four scoreless innings. He yielded just one hit, totaled five strikeouts and worked around four walks.
Seth Pinkerton threw the ninth for his first save.
Yancey worked three innings after teammate Zack Trageton recorded a five-inning start.
Start time for today’s Rays-Twins game is 6 p.m.