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Twins drop opener at state

Posted: July 25, 2013 - 3:36pm  |  Updated: July 25, 2013 - 9:37pm

Just like they did last year on their run to the championship, the Twins lost the opening game in the double-elimination American Legion Alaska State Tournament.

The Twins, the No. 7 seed, fell to the No. 10 Fairbanks 49ers 6-4 on Thursday at Mulcahy Field in Anchorage.

Just like they did last year, the Twins will have to win seven straight games starting Saturday at noon if they want to repeat as champions. The Twins play Dimond in a loser-out game. They Lynx fell to Chugiak 14-2 in seven innings on Thursday.

In Thursday’s other game, Bartlett topped Eagle River 11-10.

“We didn’t show up ready to play today,” Twins head coach Gary Oliver said. “We didn’t hit the ball.

“Our pitching was fine.”

Offense was the strength of the Twins coming into the tournament, with seven of nine starters hitting .322 or better.

But Fairbanks starter Taylor Kelsey limited the Twins to six hits in pitching a complete game. Kelsey also walked seven and hit two batters, so the Twins did have their chances.

“We left the bases loaded in two or three innings,” Oliver said. “We couldn’t get the big hit.”

Brandon Mahle took the loss, pitching seven innings and giving up eight hits and four runs — three earned — while walking two and striking out eight.

Kenny Griffin pitched the last two innings, giving up two hits and two runs — one earned.

While Oliver said the unearned runs didn’t help, he said poor hitting was the reason for the loss.

“We didn’t hit very many balls hard,” Oliver said.

Terrell Ford had a two-run homer to lead a 10-hit Fairbanks attack. Tommy Bowe had two hits for the Twins, while Hector Rivera had two RBIs.

“All the players were frustrated,” Oliver said. “They were visibly upset things did not go the way they wanted it to.

“This is where character and maturity come in. We’ll see if they can refocus and respond.”

Rivera, Mahle make teams of excellence

Both Rivera and Mahle were on the 2013 Alaska Legion Baseball Team of Excellence All-State Selections released Thursday.

The team was voted on by post managers and coaches.

Rivera made the team on the infield. He played shortstop and batted .417 with 12 RBIs, 37 runs and 22 stolen bases.

Mahle was honored as a starting pitcher. He was 3-2 with a 1.89 ERA with 34 strikeouts.

Thursday

49ers 6, Twins 4

49ers AB R H BI Twins AB R H BI

Nrtn 5 1 1 0 Olvr 3 0 0 1

Cstn 3 0 2 1 Rvra 3 1 1 2

Afrd 5 1 2 1 Prrn 4 0 0 0

Wckn 5 0 0 0 Bwe 4 0 2 1

Prde 4 1 0 0 Crsi 4 0 0 0

Frd 4 1 2 2 Mlr 4 0 1 0

Lwdi 4 0 2 0 Grfn 3 1 0 0

Hll 2 1 0 0 Wski 3 1 1 0

Frmn 4 1 0 0 Rwe 2 1 1 0

Totals 36 6 10 4 Totals 30 4 6 4

Fairbanks 020 000 202 —6

Kenai 100 000 102 —4

LOB — 49ers 9, Twins 9. E — Lewandowski, Miller, Mahle, Pierren. 2B — Alford, Norton. HR — Ford. SF — Christman, Rivera. S — Hall, Christman. SB — Christman, Lewandowski, Alford, Oliver, Rivera, Rowe.

IP H R ER BB SO

49ers

Kelsey, W 9 6 4 4 7 4

Twins

Mahle, L 7 8 4 3 2 8

Griffin 2 2 2 1 1 1

PB — Alford.

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