A grueling stretch in the schedule finally caught up to the American Legion Twins' pitching staff Tuesday.
The Twins, playing their third doubleheader in four days, used a combined nine arms in consecutive losses on the first day of the Bill Miller Big Fish Tournament at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
Three Twins took the mound in a 7-3 setback against the Spruce Grove White Sox of Edmonton (Alberta) before six more appeared in a 15-0 loss to the River Bandits of Napoleon (Ohio).
Also competing in the wood-bat tournament is a Las Vegas squad and a pair of Anchorage teams - Bartlett and Service. Action continues at 9 a.m. today at Seymour Park.
Not much time to rest for the Twins, who are 8-14.
"We pitched by committee all day today, we used up everybody," coach Gary Oliver said following the 15-0 drubbing. "They just handed it to us. I can't take anything away from them. They just played superior baseball."
After Shayne Miller, Dallas Pierren and Mason Kanakis logged a combined six innings against Edmonton, no Twin lasted more than two against Napoleon as the staff struggled to throw strikes.
Starter and loser Tay Harling yielded four walks and two wild pitches in allowing four runs on three hits over one inning.
Ben Barton started the second and recorded one out - on a pickoff move. He faced eight batters, giving up a home run to Levi Fisher, walking four and leaving with the bases loaded. Barton was charged with all seven runs Napoleon scored in the inning.
Kevin Rowe, who replaced Barton, pitched a scoreless third before Dylan Morrison struggled through the fourth. Morrison hit two batters, walked another and threw two wild pitches in allowing three runs.
Ethan Oliver and AJ Hull teamed up in the fifth.
Gary Oliver said the Twins, who split doubleheaders with West on Saturday and Dimond on Sunday, must forget about the losses entering a noon game today against Bartlett at Kenai Little League fields.
"Tomorrow, we erase today's memories and we go forward," the coach said. "The thing we've been preaching all year is, ‘Take care of our business. Don't worry about the other team, don't worry about the other games. Just take care of our business.'"
Napoleon, which features players from six Ohio schools ranging in size from 400 to 800 students, scored 23 runs in two games Tuesday.
The River Bandits opened the day with an 8-1 win over Edmonton before blasting the Twins.
Fisher led the charge in the 15-run effort, going 3 for 3 with a home run. He reached safely five times.
Patient at the plate, Napoleon also benefitted from 14 walks.
"That's something we talk about every day - having a plan, having the right approach when you're up there," coach Shane Coleman said. "Basically, working for your pitch. I think we've done a good job with that all summer, really. They go up there pretty focused and on a mission."
And while the Twins struggled to throw strikes, the River Bandits' pitchers mowed through the order.
Tyler McKenney, Tyler Wells and Tyler Shipman combined for the shutout.
"They threw a lot of strikes today and that's the name of the game in pitching," Coleman said. "I thought all three of them did well in that regard."
The Big Fish is the only wood-bat tournament in Alaska this summer, drawing three teams to the central Kenai Peninsula from outside the state.
Gary Oliver said the discrepancy in experience is clear between Alaska squads and those outside the state because of the length of the high school season.
In Alaska, the schedule spans about a month. In many other states, the season is three or four months.
"It's a great opportunity just to get to play teams from outside and see where you stack up," Gary Oliver said.
Service 5, Bartlett 1
Ryan Caron allowed struck out two, walked one and allowed one run over four innings as Service defeated Bartlett in first-round action.
Bartlett faces the Twins at noon today at Kenai Little League fields.
Las Vegas 1, Bartlett 0
Tre' Walsh struck out 10 and yielded one hit over six scoreless innings and Tyler Charlton closed it out in the seventh, leading Las Vegas to a 1-0 win over Bartlett.
Las Vegas 1, Service 0
Las Vegas received another strong pitching performance, upending Service in the final game of the day. Tyler Burdett earned the win and pitched a complete game for Las Vegas, which faces Edmonton at 9 a.m. today at Seymour Park. John Mezaros yielded two hits but suffered the loss for Service.
Service faces Napoleon at noon, also at Seymour Park.
Edmonton 7, Twins 3
Edmonton 210 211 - 7 10 3
Twins 110 010 - 3 6 5
Miller, Pierren (4), Kanakis (5) and Dylan Morrison; Johnson, Ross (6) and Wedgewood. W - Johnson. L - Miller. 2B - Hudson, Darrow, Oliver. LOB - Edmonton 13, Twins 8.
Napoleon (Ohio) 15, Twins 0
Napoleon 470 31 - 15 10 0
Twins 000 00 - 0 2 0
Harling, Barton (2), Rowe (2), Morrison (3), Oliver (5), Hull (5) and Shayne Miller; McKenney, Wells (3), Shipman (5) and Losby. W - McKenney. L - Harling. 2B - Grieser. 3B - Schroeder. HR - Fisher. S - Warren. LOB - Napoleon 11, Twins 3.