After rain twice pushed back their semifinal series, J.J. Robinson and Rookie-level Elizabethton poured it on in Game 1 of the Appalachian League Finals.
Robinson went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs as the Twins pounded out 16 hits in a 12-1 blowout of Pulaski on Thursday night at Joe O'Brien Field. Five Elizabethton batters had multi-hit games, including T.J. Dixon, who went 3-for-3 and fell a triple shy of the cycle.
"We've got a lot of good guys on the team, and when you're playing with a lot of good hitters like that, you're kind of feeding off each other," Robinson said.
Leading in the second, 1-0, Mark Contreras bashed a three-run homer to right field. The Twins padded the lead in the fourth when Gorge Munoz doubled to center to score Dixon -- who had doubled to left two batters earlier -- and knock Yankees starter Daniel Ramos (0-1) out of the game after 3 2/3 innings.
Robinson singled to right off Gilmael Troya to score Munoz and stretch the Twins' edge to 6-1. Elizabethton added four more runs in the fifth, keyed by Munoz's two-RBI double to right. With Alexander Vizcaino on the hill, Jose Miranda scored Dixon with a sacrifice fly and Robinson lined a run-scoring single to right.
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"When you have that many runs, everybody's having a pretty good time," Robinson said. "I had a bad at-bat my second time up -- I struck out -- but everybody's up and brought me back up. We ended up getting a couple more, and that's all because of the team."
Dixon's third hit was a two-run homer in the sixth and capped an unexpected outburst for Elizabethton against a Pulaski team that finished fourth on the circuit with a 4.20 ERA and led the league with 654 strikeouts this season.
"We weren't really expecting that. We know the Yankees have a really good staff and some good hitters," Robinson said. "We were expecting it to be a battle -- and it still is -- and we can't go into [Friday] thinking we're going to go 12-1 on them again."
Munoz finished with two doubles and three RBIs, while Contreras homered, doubled and plated three runs. Carson Crites went 2-for-5 with two runs scored for Elizabethton.
Nick Brown (1-0) allowed one run on five hits and three walks with three strikeouts over six innings.
Game 2 is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET on Friday at Calfee Park.