The Twins (5-1) scored nine runs on seven hits in the top of the sixth inning to break open a scoreless tie and take a 9-2 win over the Bristol Pirates (3-3) at Boyce Cox Field.
The win, coupled with Johnson City’s 12-9 win over previously unbeaten Kingsport, put the Twins in a tie with the K-Mets (5-1) atop the Appy League’s West Division.
“I didn’t expect them to go 68 or 70-0, you know,” Elizabethton Manager Ray Smith said upon learning of Kingsport’s loss. “It’s a little too early for anybody to order the rings yet. You just have to go out here with the same approach every day and try to get better every day.”
Elizabethton used the winning approach at the plate in the sixth inning.
The Twins’ Jared Akins broke a scoreless tie by starting the inning with a solo home run over the right field fence.
“That jump-started us,” Smith said of Akins’ smash. “He was ready for it and got the barrel on it.”
Akins’ homer ignited an explosive Elizabethton offense that was shut out Saturday by Bristol.
The Twins sent 14 batters to the plate in the sixth, with seven of them recording hits. Elizabethton was also aided in the inning by two Bristol errors, two walks and a hit batter.
Elizabethton finished the game with 12 hits with Akins leading the way. He finished 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBIs.
Chris Williams was 2-for-5 with two RBIs, while Alex Robles was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and DeShawn Keirsey finished 2-for-4 for the Twins.
Blair Lakso (2-0) picked up the win on the mound for the Twins. Lakso came on in relief in the fourth inning and pitched three innings with no runs, no hits, four strikeouts and a walk.
Derek Molina pitched the final three innings for Elizabethton to pick up the save. Molina gave up two runs on four hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
Bristol mounted a mini rally in the final inning by scoring two runs on three hits before Molina ended the game.