The American Legion Twins saw their season come to an end with an 11-8 loss to Chugiak on Monday at the state tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.
Twins head coach Hector Rivera said a key point in the game came in the top of the eighth inning.
The Twins had scored four runs in the top of the seventh to tie up the game at 8, and had the beginnings of another rally started in the top of the eighth with runners on first and second and cleanup hitter Tommy Bowe at the plate.
Bowe did his job by hitting the ball hard, but it was right at the shortstop for a 6-4-3 double play.
Rivera said he could sense good things when Bowe got to the plate. With the lead, he would have pitched Josh Darrow in the eighth and Hector A. Rivera in the ninth.
“Everything was going according to plan,” he said. “I was ready to take the lead then use Josh Darrow for the eighth and Hector for the ninth.”
As it was, Chugiak got three runs in the bottom of the eighth off of Tyler Covey to secure the victory. Covey pitched two innings and gave up the three runs on three hits.
Ace Dallas Pierren got the start for the Twins and went six innings, giving up four hits and eight runs (six earned) while walking four, striking out six and hitting one.
Pierren had worked the Twins’ first game of the tournament Friday.
“There was no sense saving him for tomorrow when we need him today,” Rivera said. “I asked him this morning how he felt and he said, ‘I’m good, coach.’
“He went and did his job.”
Rivera said inexperience and fatigue caught up with his squad.
The Twins had just four players with significant state experience, and one of them — Justin Wisnewski — did not play after injuring his ankle in Sunday’s game.
The Twins also had arrived in Anchorage on Thursday and had been sleeping on the Lumen Christi gym floor with Ketchikan, Kodiak, Juneau and two Fairbanks squads.
“It was tough for them to get rest,” said Rivera, who slept on the gym floor himself. “People were always coming and going.”
Bowe finished 3 for 5 with a run and three RBIs, while Rivera was 2 for 4 with two runs and a steal of home plate. Darrow was 1 for 4 for 2 RBIs.
Coach Rivera said the loss does not change the bright future for the Twins. Hector A. Rivera and Wisnewski are the two players not eligible to return.
“The season was positive,” Rivera said. “It was more a developmental season. We competed the best we could and gave trouble to people out there.
“I think we’re just building the foundation for the team for next year.”
Rivera also thanked all the parents, businesses and others involved in the Post 20 Twins for making the season happen.