The American Legion Post 20 baseball team that took the field for the first time Saturday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park has a few familiar faces on it, but the Twins will be working in a few new mitts as they begin their season.
"We knew we would be rebuilding this year, so we're going to take our lumps early," said Twins manager Lance Coz. "The goal is to play .500 ball through June, then make a run at the state tournament. The nice thing about this team is that they're all real hard workers. They've all got common goals and they're all good teammates."
The Twins' season continues today at Coral Seymour Memorial Park when Post 20 plays host to Chugiak for a doubleheader starting at 12:30 p.m.
The Twins' next home date is June 11, when they face off with the Peninsula Oilers in their annual exhibition game. Then, Post 20 will be on the road until June 28, when they host the South Peninsula Storm.
Pitcher Danny Bookey and infielders Aaron Hughes and Eric Newby return from last season's squad, and Coz expects them to fill leadership roles with the team.
After that, Coz has plenty of new players to work into his lineup. Luckily for the Twins, a strong junior varsity team has enabled all of those players to develop, and several players made spot appearances with the Twins' varsity squad last season.
"We played 98 games between our varsity and our JV," Coz said. "That's quite a few ballgames."
Coz is excited about the young talent coming up through the Twins system. David Newby is back after missing last summer with a back problem, while players like Quincy Bird and Brad Burck will look to make contributions on a daily basis after making a few appearances last season.
Burck picked up the Twins' first win of the season Saturday with his complete-game performance in the second game of their doubleheader.
Other players to make Post 20's opening day roster after playing with the JV squad last season include Dominic Plasencia, who hit an RBI double Saturday, Adrian Borchgrevink, who drove in a run with a single, Gresham Oliver and Kenneth Butler, who had a good day behind the plate.
Nathan Dablemont came on in relief in the opener, and Justin Payment, Kyle Foster and Ely Evanson got to start in game 2. J.D. Pault made an appearance in game 2, and Cory Janson and Scott Kornfield were waiting for their chance to contribute.
"We still have some things to work on, but once we get going, watch out," Bookey said. "We have the talent. It's just a matter of finding them all playing time -- there's only one team. Right now, it's (figuring out) who can produce and where. The first few games will be mix and match to see who plays well together."
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