The Pirates took the season series (5-4) from the Twins with the win for the first time in 14 years. The playoff hopes are slim for Bristol (20-23), but it is somewhat of a moral victory and a step in the right direction.
There were really no big offensive performers on either side, but Bristol’s Chas Murray did go 1-for-3 with two RBIs and Eli Wilson scored twice and recorded a double.
Bristol’s Jose Maldonado — who was tied for the Appalachian League lead in losses with five — recorded his third win of the season, going five strong innings, allowing one run on five hits and striking out four.
Alex Roth notched his second save of the season, pitching the final three frames and facing the minimum number of batters. The Twins were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left eight stranded.
Tyler Benninghoff (2-4) was tagged with the loss for Elizabethton. His final line read six innings with three earned runs on seven hits and four strikeouts.
The only E-Twin to record multiple hits was Max Smith, who hit a single and double in the fifth and seventh innings, respectively.
IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE
The E-Twins had multiple opportunities to go ahead or tie the ballgame, but weird things happened when they got to that point.
In the second inning, Elizabethton left the bases loaded after two of the first three batters reached on a single and a walk. Anthony Prato reached on a walk, but he was forced out at second base when the shortstop had trouble fielding the ball and only managed to get one out.
Three batters later and with two outs, DeShawn Kerisey drew a five-pitch walk off Maldonado and drove in Trevor Jensen from third. The bases were still loaded and it looked like the Twins were in business to knot the game at two.
However, on the next pitch, Smith hit a lazy fly ball to center field and the threat was ended.
In the seventh, Smith knocked a gap shot between center and left that put him on second base with one out. Then Saturday night’s hero, Seth Gray, stepped to the plate and lined out to second base. The problem was that Smith was already well off the base and it was an easy unassisted double play for Bristol second baseman Ernny Ordonez.
Roth struck out the side in the eighth inning and threw just six pitches in the ninth to close the game out and seal the win for the Pirates.
The Twins record just seven hits on the night.
Elizabethton will begin a three-game road series with Kingsport on Monday. the first pitch at Hunter Wright Stadium is set for 6:30 p.m.
The Pirates will travel to Danville and have a three-game set with the Braves also starting on Monday at 6:30 p.m. from Dan Daniel Memorial Park.