DANVILLE, VA – The Elizabethton Twins trailed the Danville Braves for seven innings, tying the game in the eighth, but falling in the ninth on a walk-off infield single 4-3.
Elizabethton starter Sawyer Gipson-Long was strong through his first four, allowing an unearned run on three hits and an error. He could not pitch past the fourth inning though, surrendering two runs in the fifth and being forced out of the game.
Ryan Shreve allowed one of the two runners he inherited in the fifth to score, but was sensational after that, totaling four scoreless innings on three hits, no walks and three strikeouts.
While the Twins could not score a run while Gipson-Long was in the game, they were able to tie the game while Shreve was on the mound. Will Holland connected for a solo home run in the sixth inning, his sixth home run of the year.
The E-Twins scrapped together two runs to tie the game in the eighth, as Max Smith singled, then was driven in on a single by Kidany Salva, who soon scored on an Anthony Prato sacrifice fly.
Struggles with leaving runners on base, along with hitting with runners in scoring position both came back to bite the Twins Thursday night. Elizabethton went 2-14 with runners in scoring position, while stranding 16 runners on in the nine-inning game.
Two of those 16 runners were stranded in the ninth, when the E-Twins could not take a lead. Osiris German lost the game on an infield single and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the fourth time Elizabethton has been walked off on this year.
Despite the loss and untimely hitting, there were still bright spots. Second baseman Ruben Santana went 4-5 with four singles, Max Smith went 3-4 with three singles and Anthony Prato went 2-3 with a double.
The E-Twins look to split the series with Danville Friday at 6:30 p.m.