The American Legion Twins continued their streak of winning the opening nine-inning conference game then losing the following seven-inning nonconference game against visiting West on Wednesday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park. The Twins notched a 13-12, come-from-behind win in extra innings in the first game and dropped the second game 8-4. The Twins are 3-0 in the league and 3-3 overall.
"We have yet to win a seven-inning game," Twins head coach John Butler said.
Though he would have liked to sweep West, Butler said they won the important game.
"That's the one we really needed to win," he said of the conference game.
"The first game is what we need," said first baseman Braden Price. "That gets us into state."
In the first game, the Twins trailed by seven runs heading into the bottom of the third inning. They followed with consecutive four-run innings to take an 8-7 lead.
"We came out flat," Butler said. "We didn't do anything right."
"We had no energy," said Jake Darrow, who went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and a stolen base.
"We weren't really playing our game the first couple innings," Price added.
The Twins climbed back into the game with small ball, Price said. He said the team was able to get base runners with bunting, and once on base, they were able to steal.
"We got inside their heads with a couple of runs," Price said.
The team's energy level and hustle also increased, Darrow said.
"We were diving for balls and hitting the ball, too," he said.
After West regained the lead, the Twins scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game at 12 and force extra innings.
No matter what the scoreboard reads, the Twins always compete, Butler said.
"They get down and they really don't quit," he said.
In the bottom of the 10th, Mikey Griffin drew a lead-off walk. Ethan Oliver then laid down a bunt. He reached first base safely and Griffin advanced to third. A passed ball by West's catcher, with Dylan Morrison at the plate, brought Griffin home for the win.
Price said the message was simple heading into extra innings: "Just get on base however you can."
Price and Mitchell Thompson both went 3-for-6 in the first game. Price had three runs and three stolen bases. Thompson added three RBIs. Morrison hit 2-for-3.
Griffin pitched six innings, giving up eight runs --five earned -- and had three strikeouts. Price, who pitched the ninth and 10th innings, recorded the win. Thompson pitched the seventh and eighth innings.
The Twins left 10 runners on base while West stranded 16 in the first game.
In the nonconference game, West scored three runs in the sixth inning to hold a 7-3 lead. The Twins scored one in the bottom half but went three up and three down to end the game.
Butler said the second game was a chance for his younger team members to gain valuable experience.
"They did an outstanding job," he said.
Overall, Butler said he was proud of his team. The Twins host a doubleheader today against Dimond. The first game begins at 12:30 p.m.
Dimond is one of the top teams in the league, Butler said. For success, the Twins will need to have a much better start to the game than they did against West, he said.
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