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Gray's grand slam completes big comeback by Twins

Johnson City Press • Updated Aug 3, 2019 at 10:45 PM

ELIZABETHTON—It wasn’t a run-of-the-mill comeback for Elizabethton on Saturday night.

Seth Gray’s one-out grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning capped a 9-6 Appalachian League victory for the Twins, who trailed by six runs midway through the game at Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark.

After Chase Murray pounded a two-run home run and Ernny Ordonez produced a two-run single in the fifth inning, the Pirates (19-23) owned a commanding 6-0 lead.

Elizabethton (23-20) began its comeback with a Kyle Schmidt RBI single in the lower half of the inning. Two more runs came during the seventh as Anthony Prato lofted a sacrifice fly before Schmidt delivered a run-scoring groundout.

Parker Phillips accounted for an RBI groundout of his own in the eighth, but the Twins still trailed 6-4 entering the ninth.

Willie Joe Garry Jr. made it a one-run contest by driving home Prato with a single. Two batters later, it was Gray coming through with the bases jammed.

Prato went 3 for 3 and scored twice while Gray had a double to go with his eighth homer of the season.

Schmidt finished with two RBIs and teammate DaShawn Keirsey coupled two runs with a pair of walks.

Following two scoreless innings from middle reliever Tyler Beck, Benjamin Dum (1-0) blanked Bristol for a pair of frames — recording four strikeouts in the process.

Taking the hill in the ninth, Ryan Troutman (0-2) absorbed the defeat.

Josh Bissonette batted 3 for 5 to pace the Pirates, who got a two-run, second-inning homer from Jesus Valdez. Murray and Fernando Villegas each collected two hits.

Maintaining a three-game lead in the West Division wild-card hunt and keeping within two games of first-place Johnson City, Elizabethton aims for a sweep of visiting Bristol on Sunday. Action begins at 5 p.m.

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