Laweryson, an overpowering 6-foot-4 right hander from Maine, gave up three hits and no walks in the Twins’ 1-0 victory over the Reds on Monday night at Northeast Community Credit Union Ballpark. He struck out the first five batters he faced and fanned 15 of the 21 batters he faced.
His 15 was the most by an Elizabethton pitcher in 2019, beating the 11 Andriu Marin and Tyler Benninghoff each recorded earlier this season. He nearly topped the Minor League Baseball 2019 single-game strikeout record, which was 17 strikeouts in one game. Both Greeneville Reds pitcher Randy Wynne and Rome Braves pitcher Philip Pfeifer did in eight innings earlier this season.
Laweryson improved to 1-1, while the Twins improved to 32-33 as a team. They are 1 1/2 games behind West Division leader Kingsport, a game behind Bristol and a half-game behind Johnson City with two games to go.
Owen Griffith struck out five more batters over the final three innings, giving up one hit to get his first save of the year. It was a combined four-hit shutout.
The game’s only run came on Jangison Villalobos’ RBI double to right field to score Anthony Prato. The Twins had seven hits overall with Will Holland going 2-for-3 to lead the way.
Ruben Santana, Max Smith and Seth Gray each had singles.
Garrett Wolforth had Greeneville’s only extra-base hit, a double in the fourth inning. The Elizabethton pitchers kept the Reds off balance with Greeneville only having one runner in scoring position.
Graham Ashcraft (2-4) suffered the loss on a night when he gave up just one run and struck out seven batters over six innings.
The teams resume the three-game series Tuesday with the regular season to conclude Wednesday.