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Six-run third keys Twins' conquest of Rays

Johnson City Press • Updated Jul 25, 2019 at 10:02 PM

ELIZABETHTON—A six-run third inning highlighted by a Janigson Villalobos home run and Matt Wallner’s two-run double propelled Elizabethton to a 9-4 Appalachian League victory over Princeton at Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark on Thursday night.

Villalobos got the Twins (20-15) on the board, cutting a 2-0 Rays advantage in half. Three batters after Max Smith delivered an RBI single to tie things up, Wallner produced his two-bagger — catapulting Elizabethton in front.

Before the inning was complete, Parker Phillips and Wallner came home on two-out wild pitches.

Will Holland made it a 7-2 game with a fourth-inning homer. Princeton got a fifth-inning run, but Elizabethton’s Willie Joe Garry Jr. went deep in the sixth, swatting a two-run homer to right field.

Garry, who also doubled in the contest, and Wallner each finished 2 for 4 with two RBIs. Garry added a pair of runs.

After starter Andriu Marin yielded three runs and struck out six batters over 4 1/3 innings, Frandy Torres (1-0) hurled 2 2/3 scoreless frames for the decision.

Torres and Erik Cha, who collected the final six Princeton outs, each totaled three strikeouts — giving the Twins 12 as a team.

Princeton (17-18) used four pitchers and got 11 Ks in return. Jose Lopez (2-3) fell victim to Elizabethton’s big third inning during a 2 2/3-inning start, but four of those half-dozen runs were unearned.

Brett Wisely led off the game with a home run and led the Rays with a 3-for-4, 3-run night. Luis Leon, who drove home two runs, Jhosner Vargas and Nich Schnell added two hits apiece.

Leon and Schnell doubled as Princeton finished with 10 hits to Elizabethton’s nine.

On Friday, the Twins begin a series at Bristol while Princeton plays host to Burlington.

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