Twins split with East: Kohler tosses a gem vs. Thunderbirds in 1st game

Posted: Sunday, June 21, 2009

The American Legion twins split a doubleheader with East Anchorage on Saturday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park, winning the first game 2-1 before losing the second game 12-0.

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Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Twins shortstop Josh Gilbert tags East's Luke Schnellbaecher at second in the sixth inning of Saturday's first game. East was ruled safe on the play.

The Twins now stand at 3-4 in the conference and 6-8 overall heading into a 12:30 p.m. doubleheader today at Coral Seymour Memorial Park against West Anchorage.

Larsen Kohler and the Twins defense were the big story in the first game. On June 14, Kohler made his debut for the Twins against South. He had not pitched in three weeks and lost 6-3.

Saturday, Kohler pitched a complete game and gave up just one run.

"I was going to take him out, but he was throwing the ball well today and hitting his spots, so I let him finish," said Twins coach John Butler.

Butler said Kohler did a much better job controlling his emotions in this game.

"His mound presence was a lot better," he said. "He was more under control. He had a little rough spot, but he was able to overcome it. You could see the improvement from the first game to this game."

The Twins got all the offense they would need in the bottom of the first inning, when Mitchell Thompson singled to score Jake Darrow and Mikey Griffin singled to score Josh Gilbert.

After that, the Twins bats cooled considerably. The team, which lost Justice Elson to an injury in the first game and did not have Tyler Marcuson available, did not score another run all day.

"We're still not hitting like we should," Butler said.

Thanks to Kohler and a defense that committed just one error in the first game, the power outage was overcome in the first game.

The same couldn't be said of the second game.

"We played a lot of young players in order to try and get them some experience," Butler said. "It didn't work out too well."

Butler said the program will not have enough money for a junior varsity program until July. For that reason, Butler has been trying to get some of his younger players experience in the nonconference games.

The coach said he wasn't angry after losing 12-0 because he saw a lot of positive signs in his young players. He used the play at third base of Johnny Wilson as an example. Even though Wilson made three errors, Butler said he was impressed that Wilson got in front of every hard shot that came his way.

Butler also liked what he saw in the pitching of John Hughes. Griffin pitched the first two innings and gave up three runs before yielding to Hughes, who had not pitched in two years. Hughes would give up nine runs, but Butler said shoddy defense led to about five of those runs.

"He threw the ball fairly well," Butler said. "He got the ball up a few times and they had some shots off of him.

"We'll get him in the bullpen, and he should be an added bonus in about a month."

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