The Twins survived a wild, ninth-inning comeback attempt to advance to the winner-take-all championship game at 6 p.m. today by defeating Chugiak 8-7 at Mulcahy Park in Anchorage in the American Legion AA State Tournament.
Twins reliever Josiah Covey came in to protect an 8-6 lead in the ninth inning.
Morgan Spohn led off the inning with a walk before Alex Bozzo flied out and Joseph Fugure struck out.
Cameron Fritz kept the inning alive by walking.
Then, things got crazy.
Chase Wilson hit a dribbler down the first-base line. The ball rolled all the way down the line and hit first base, with Wilson reaching safely. However, Post 20 alertly caught Fritz taking too big of a turn at second and got him in a rundown. Fritz managed to avoid the tag and make it back to second, while Spohn scored in the confusion to cut the gap to 8-7.
Conner Cimmiyotti then hit a blooper to right field, but Ethan Oliver made a diving catch to end the game.
The game was low scoring until the final two innings.
Tay Harling got the start for the Twins and pitched 6 2-3 innings, giving up eight hits and two earned runs. He walked three and struck out two.
Justin Schneider started for Chugiak, going seven innings and giving up nine hits and three runs — one earned.
The Twins led 3-0 after the fourth inning, then Chugiak cut the lead to 3-2 in the top of the seventh inning. The Mustangs then went up 6-3 in the top of the eighth inning. Brandon Mahle gave up four earned runs in one inning in relief for the Twins.
But the Twins battled right back with five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to take an 8-6 lead.
Fritz came in to pitch for Chugiak and walked Tommy Bowe, but Fritz then recorded two outs at Bowe advance to third.
Oliver started the two-out, five-run rally with a single that scored Bowe. After Jake Darrow walked, Hector Rivera doubled to score Oliver and put Darrow at third.
AJ Hull then singled to score Darrow for an 8-7 lead. A throwing error, combined with Hull’s blazing speed, allowed Hull to score for the 8-6 lead.
Both teams had 12 hits in the game.
Rivera led the team by going 4 for 5 with a run and two RBI. Covey also was 2 for 5 for the Twins.
For Chugiak, Wilson was 3 for 5 with four RBI, while Cimmiyotti, Deven Ferriss, Schneider and Bozzo each had two hits.