Elizabethton wins 11th Appy League title

Elizabethton wins 11th Appy League title

For the 11th time in franchise history, the Elizabethon Twins are Appalachian League champions.

Elizabethon survived a late comeback in Game 2 of the Appy League finals on Friday to defeat Pulaski, 8-7, and complete a best-of-three series sweep to claim its first title since 2012.

"It doesn't matter if you're playing in a rec league softball game or playing in the World Series, hopefully you got that [drive] within you that allows you to have some butterflies," Twins manager Ray Smith told MiLB.com. "And I want that. It gives you an edge. So yeah, I'm fired up."

Pulaski jumped out to an early lead behind back-to-back doubles in the first inning, only to see the Twins respond by scoring all eight of their runs over the next three innings.

After pushing across three runs with three consecutive two-out hits in the second inning, the Twins added to their lead in the following frame via a three-run home run by left fielder Mark Contreras, and then tacked on two more runs in the fourth on an error by Pulaski starter Luis Medina.

The Yankees came right back with a two-spot of their own in the bottom of the inning before erupting to score four runs on four hits, including back-to-back solo homers from Jesus Bastidas and Eric Wagaman, in the seventh.

Pulaski's attempt at a comeback would stop there, however, as Twins reliever Jovani Moran, a 20-year-old left-hander, struck out four while facing the minimum over the final 2 1/3 innings to secure his second save of the postseason. It was his third straight multi-inning outing in which he allowed neither a run nor a hit.

Elizabethton starting pitcher Moises Gomez allowed three runs over fine innings to record the win. It was the first postseason start for the 20-year-old righty, who yielded four hits and three walks while striking out six.

On the other side of the ball, Contreras paced the Twins' offense with a 2-for-5 performance that included three RBIs and two runs scored, while 19-year-old center fielder Akil Baddoo, a Competitive Balance Round B selection in the 2016 Draft, notched a double and a triple while going 2-for-4 out of the leadoff spot.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.