Whether the dipnetting on the Kenai River had them distracted, or whether it was the beautiful weather all around, the American Legion Twins found themselves making mistakes that cost them a league game against Chugiak Post 33 on Friday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
The Twins dropped the first game of a doubleheader 9-4 against the Mustangs, leaving them with a 13-7 league record. In the second, non-league game, the Twins lost 5-4 in eight innings, giving them a 17-16 overall record.
In the first game, the Twins held a 4-2 lead midway through the seven-inning contest, but mistakes and fumbles in the fifth inning let the lead slip away.
"Our defense was bad, that's it," said Twins assistant coach Hector Rivera. "We hit well, but if we're giving up five or six outs an inning, we're not going to win
"I don't know, I don't think they wanted to be here today."
After two early runs in the first inning from Chugiak, the Twins began to find the power that brought them a state championship last summer against the Mustangs.
Tommy Bowe hit a single to score Hector Rivera in the bottom of the first, then Tyler Covey took advantage of a wild pitch to score a tying run in the second inning, after having hit a single and stealing second and third base. His run was followed shortly by an error from the catcher that allowed batter Kenny Griffin to take first base and Justin Wisnewski to score a run, giving Post 20 a 3-2 lead.
One inning later, Colin Corsetti tallied a sacrifice single that brought Bowe across home plate for a two-run lead.
Dallas Pierren started the game on the mound for the Twins, pitching the first 4 2-3 innings, and had a decent stat sheet going before he began having trouble with Chugiak's hitters.
"The pitching was OK, but that's all it takes, is one error to mess up your whole game, and we made one too many," Rivera said.
Pierren had two strikeouts with five hits, but in the fifth inning, Chugiak's Chase Gall hit a double, which ended up being a triple due to a throwing error by the Twins, which allowed Hunter Hanson and Conner Cimmiyotti to score the two runs that knotted the game up.
After that, Vander Lekites hit a double that brought Gall in with the winning run and Blake Kutch that gave Chugiak a 6-4 lead.
It was soon after that Pierren was pulled in favor of Covey, who went the rest of the way (2 1-3 innings).
Chugiak pitcher Chase Wilson pitched the first six innings, allowing five hits and getting seven strikeouts.
"We had a slow start, in the sense of having to drive down here, but Chase did pretty well," said Chugiak coach Bill Lierman. "We made some mistakes in the first half of the game, but we started settling down and taking better swings."
Lierman said Wilson's best pitch was his fastball, which had Kenai's batters swinging.
"They helped us a little bit with some mistakes and drops on their side, but we've had some guys struggle recently, and we took some good swings," Lierman said. "I think they were a very athletic team last year, but that goes for any team. Any given year you have a very different team. It's always fun to come down and play Kenai."
To add the Kenai's misery, Chugiak was able to convert a double play in the bottom of the fifth, then got the third out in the bottom of the sixth that left Tyler Covey on third base and scoring position.
Bowe led the Twins with 3-for-4 hitting, Rivera ended up 1 for 3 with a double, and Corsetti and Shayne Miller were both 1 for 3.
The Twins face another doubleheader on Saturday with two games against Bartlett, starting at 12:30 p.m. at Coral Seymour park.