BURLINGTON, N.C.- The Elizabethton Twins built a 6-0 lead after an inning and a half, and despite a Royals rally, held on for a 9-3 win at Burlington Athletic Stadium on Wednesday night.
LHP Joey Markus, making his first start for Burlington since 2015, toed the rubber and retired the first two hitters he faced before allowing a pair of walks. Twins 1B Kolton Kendrick stepped up and launched an RBI double off the right field fence, giving the Twins (14-6) the lead.
Elizabethton added to the advantage in the second inning. 3B Ariel Montesino hit a two-RBI double off the left field fence, missing a home run by a matter of inches like Kendrick. 2B Carson Crites made the lead 4-0 with a sacrifice fly, and LF Brent Rooker blasted a two-run home run for his league-leading sixth long ball of the season.
The Royals (5-14) got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third on the first of 1B Travis Jones' three RBI. DH Reed Rohlman was hit by a pitch, and consecutive singles from 3B Dennicher Carrasco and LF Cal Jones loaded the bases. Jones came up after a strikeout and hit a sacrifice fly to score Rohlman.
RHP Carlos Hernandez kept the Twins off the board in the middle innings, allowing the Royals to mount a rally. In the fourth, Carrasco led off with a double and made his way to third on an error that allowed Cal Jones to reach. Travis Jones came back up and laced an RBI single to right, and Carrasco trotted home.
The Elizabethton lead shrunk to three in the sixth, when Cal Jones singled and C Sebastian Rivero doubled to put two on with no out. Travis Jones hit a popup down the first base line which was caught, but Cal Jones hustled down the line to score.
Elizabethton plated two runs in the seventh on a solo homer from DH Jose Miranda and an RBI single from CF Mark Contreras that drove in Rooker. The final Twins run came across in the eighth, when Montesino singled and advanced to third on a Crites double. A Miranda sacrifice fly allowed Montesino to score.
Burlington could not muster offense against Twins RHP Rickey Ramirez, who retired the Royals over the last 3.2 innings.
Gigliotti, Carrasco, and both Joneses had multiple hits for the Royals.
The series continues Thursday at 7:00 p.m. RHP Nolan Watson (1-6, 8.01 with Class A Lexington and AZL Royals) starts for Burlington against Twins RHP Melvi Acosta (2-0, 5.06). Coverage with Matt Krause on the Burlington Royals Broadcast Network begins at 6:45 p.m. on www.burlingtonroyals.com and on the TuneIn app (search "Burlington Royals"). At the ballpark, it will be Thirsty Thursday! All draft beers are just $1 each. Also, the first 300 fans to the ballpark will receive a t-shirt courtesy of Dick Shirley Chevrolet! For tickets, call (336) 222-0223 or visit www.burlingtonroyals.com.
Elizabethton 9, Burlington 3
WP: Moises Gomez (1-0)
LP: Joey Markus (0-1)
SV: Rickey Ramirez (1)
HR: ELZ- Brent Rooker (6), Jose Miranda (4)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.