The Post 20 Legion Twins swept a doubleheader against South Post 4 on Wednesday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park, winning the first, nine-inning game 17-7 and the second, seven-inning game 10-2. Both games were counted as league games.
The victories clinched the top seed in the Legion AA standings with two league games left on the Twins’ schedule.
“They’re a good team, they’re a good hitting team, and earlier in the game we had a couple of baserunning miscues, lost opportunities, and then they scratch out some runs here and there, and that changes the momentum of the game,” South coach Russ Baker said. “They have a lot of speed and that’s good for baserunning, and they’re disciplined. That’s why their record is what it is.”
In the first game, the Twins used three stellar innings to gain the mercy rule in the win, as they reached the 10-run limit. Kenai scored four runs in the fourth inning, five in the sixth and four in the eighth to finish South off.
“If it was going to happen, it would have been nice for it to happen earlier, but that’s OK,” Twins coach Gary Oliver said. “The guys came out today, we’ve been playing a little flat the last couple of games, and I think today it just exploded. When we had a runner on, it didn’t matter if we had one out, two outs, we were getting on base, and if they didn’t hit the ball, they got hit by the ball, so we had some timely hits this time, and they’re back to playing Twins baseball like they’ve been all season.
“It was good to see the bats come alive today.”
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Tommy Bowe hit a two-RBI double to bring Mitchell Thompson and AJ Hull across home plate and give the Twins a lead that they would never relinquish. Shayne Miller and Jake Darrow hit singles to each score a run to finish off the inning, which the Twins left with a 6-3 lead.
South closed the gap a bit, scoring a run in both the fifth and sixth innings to move within one run of Post 20 Kenai, but the Twins found more magic in the bottom of the sixth.
Brian Rowe scored by default when Hector Rivera was hit by the pitch with the bases loaded, Ethan Oliver scored off of Hull’s single, and the biggest play came when Josiah Covey hit a three-RBI double, giving the Twins an 11-5 lead.
“It’s one of those things, I mean, even with major league teams, they’ll have their lull periods, and then they’ll come up against somebody and one guys gets a hit, and then everybody gets a hit,” Oliver said. “It’s just one of those things. That’s what makes baseball so much fun.”
Darrow ended up hitting 3 for 6 with one double and one run, Hull went 3 for 6 with two runs, Covey hit 3 for 4 with one run, a triple and a double, Rowe hit 3 for 3 with a double and five runs, and Oliver went 2 for 3 with three runs.
Brandon Mahle pitched five innings for the Twins and received the win.
The Twins recorded 19 hits, while South had 11.
The second game played out similar to the first, except no mercy rule was needed, and the Twins broke open a scoreless game in the third inning and cruised to the 10-2 win.
Hull grounded out to the shortstop, who had an error that brought in Darrow to score, and Covey had an RBI single to bring Hull in to score. From there, the Twins held the lead, scoring four runs in the fourth inning, one in the sixth and two in the seventh, totaling up 13 hits. South scored a run apiece in the sixth and seventh innings.
Ethan Oliver pitched four innings, with no runs and only three hits.
Darrow hit 3 for 4 with two runs and five RBI, Olive hit 2 for 4 with three runs, and Justin Wisnewski, Dallas Pierren, Zack Mese and Hull each scored a run.
Gary Oliver, who admits he never looks at the season records, said the two wins were important, as Kenai was holding a small lead in the Legion AA standings coming into the day, but now has clinched the top seed in the regular, 20-game season, standing at 15-3 in the league and 27-8 overall, with two games left on the schedule.
That adds up to 63 points accumulated over the summer. South sits second with a 13-6 league record, 16-10 overall, and 58 points total, with one game left on their schedule.
“This was a big day today, because it goes a long ways toward seeding for that tournament, but we’re not worrying about that tournament now, we’re focused on each game at a time,” Oliver said.
The Twins will play West Post 1 on Saturday in a doubleheader (second game nonleague) at Coral Seymour Memorial Park starting at 12:30 p.m., and end the season with another doubleheader on Sunday at 1:30 p.m., playing Wasilla.