Twins head coach Gary Oliver is not sure how ready his team is for game play.
He’ll find out in a hurry.
The Twins open their season today vs. Dimond with a 12:30 p.m. doubleheader at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai. The Twins then go on the road to play South on Friday.
Saturday, Dimond and South faced off for the state high school championship, with the Wolverines prevailing 14-8 in 12 innings.
“I don’t know how game ready we are, but I guess we’ll find out tomorrow,” Oliver said Monday.
Due to high school programs at Soldotna, Homer and Kenai Central, many of the Twins players are coming into the season with game experience.
However, the Stars qualified for state and didn’t see their season end until Friday. That means Oliver hasn’t had much time to see how all the pieces fit together in practice. The Twins started practice on May 31.
Oliver said he is counting on players with high school and Legion varsity experience. Those players include SoHi’s Josiah Covey, Kenai’s Ethan Oliver and AJ Hull, and Homer’s Brian and Kevin Rowe.
Tay Harling also returns with varsity pitching experience, while Jake Darrow has Legion varsity experience at second base. Harling goes to Skyview, which does not have baseball, while Darrow did not play for Soldotna this year.
That group, along with the rest of the team, is very versatile.
“Our strength will be the versatility of all the players,” Oliver said. “Our weakness will be the short time period we’ve gotten to practice on the field at this point in the season.”
The coach said Hector Rivera, Miles Jones and Max Hegge are coming from the Legion JV team. He also said Dylan Morrison, Dylan Sterling and Robert Cockrell return after seeing some spot varsity duty last year.
Others that will help fill holes are Shayne Miller, Mitchel Daugherty, Mason Kanakis, Ben Barton, Johnny Wilson and Luke Michael.
One area where Oliver is looking for his team to be ahead of the game is hitting. The high school players have seen live pitching for a month.
“Hopefully, we can get the kids placed in the right order so they can do the most damage,” Oliver said.