The American Legion Twins opened up their 2007 season on Saturday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai by splitting a doubleheader with Service.
In the first game, the Twins came back to defeat the Cougars 8-6 in nine innings.
The Cougars got four runs in the first three innings off starter Jake Lamphier to take a 4-0 lead. Lamphier settled down to pitch five solid innings and pick up the victory.
“Jake Lamphier pitched a terrific ballgame,” Twins manager John Butler said. “I was a little worried about his pitch count after the first inning, but he came around.”
The Twins mounted a comeback in the fourth and fifth innings. Steve Mabeus, Ethan Waters, Tanner Pollack and Justice Elson scored in the fourth, while Mabeus, Waters and Pollack scored in the fifth inning.
“We did come back, and that was really good to see,” Butler said. “With the weather being what is was, we didn’t give up.”
Butler also said Ben Stalker did a great job in middle relief, pitching the sixth, seventh and eighth innings and allowing just one run. In the ninth, Waters walked three batters but Elson came on to preserve the victory. Waters led the Twins’ eight-hit attack with three hits, and Pollack also had a pair of hits.
Service won the second game 8-6 in eight innings. The game was scheduled for seven innings, but was tied at 5 after seven innings.
The Twins got starter Jake Bowler a 2-1 lead in the fourth inning when Pollack and Keita Sugano scored. Service grabbed a 5-2 lead in the top of the fifth, but the Twins came back to tie the game in the bottom of the frame when Sugano, Bobby Myles and Bowler scored.
In the extra inning, Elson gave up three runs. The Twins managed a run from Sam Bowler in the bottom of the inning. Michael Mauer picked up the victory in relief for Service.
“We played a lot of young guys in the second game,” Butler said. “We had a couple of baserunning errors that showed a lack of field time.”
The Twins will play Chugiak at 12:30 p.m. at Seymour Park in another doubleheader.
Twins 8, Cougars 6
Service 031 000 011 6 10 2
Twins 000 430 010 8 9 4
Bentland, Beard (3) and Neally; Lamphier, Stalker (6), Waters (9), Elson (9) and Waters. W Lamphier. L Beard. 2B: Service: Barrus, Paul; Twins: Hepner, Stalker. LOB Service 14, Twins 10.
Cougars 8, Twins 6, 8 inn.
Service 001 031 03 8 6 2
Twins 000 203 01 6 7 4
Larson, Cassella (4), Mauer (6) and Barnett; J. Bowler, Gray (5), Elson (8) and Pollack. W Mauer. L Elson. 2B Service: Hand; Twins: Mabeus. 3B Service: Hand. LOB Service 10, Twins 9.
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