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E-Twins on brink of league title after topping Rays

Johnson City Press • Sep 4, 2018 at 10:35 PM

PRINCETON, W. Va. — Winning Game 1 of the Appalachian League championship series is generally a big deal.

Winning it as the road team typically matters a little more.

On Tuesday night, Elizabethton banged out 13 hits and took the series opener from Princeton — beating the Rays 7-4 on their own field.

The scene now shifts to the Twins’ facility, where Elizabethton will have two chances, if needed, to clinch the best-of-three series. Start time for tonight’s game is 7.

Yeltsin Encarnacion batted 3 for 4 from the bottom of the Twins’ order in the opener while teammates Chris Williams, Alex Robles, Yunior Severino and Lean Marrero added two hits apiece.

Williams, who had two runs and a pair of RBIs, handed his club the lead with a two-run home run in the top of the first inning.

The Rays, however, snapped back and moved ahead with a three-run second in which Roberto Alvarez swatted a run-scoring triple and Jake Palomaki a two-run homer.

The lead wouldn’t last long, though. When Jean Carlos Arias belted a two-run homer in the fourth, Elizabethton held a 4-3 edge and remained in front the rest of the way.

Up 5-4, the Twins generated a pair of insurance during the seventh. A Severino single brought home Encarnacion, who had led off with a base hit and advanced on a wild pitch.

Severino advanced to third on a Lean Marrerro double before a wild pitch enabled him to score.

Robles delivered an RBI double the previous inning.

Austin Schulfer pitched seven innings for the victory, allowing four runs on eight hits, racking up six strikeouts and recording no walks.

Jacob Blank worked two scoreless innings, striking out five batters and holding Princeton without a hit as he picked up a save.

The second of four Princeton pitchers, Rodolfo Sanchez was tagged with the loss. He surrendered three runs over three innings.

Grant Witherspoon went 2 for 4 for the Rays.

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