The American Legion Twins split a doubleheader with Bartlett on Sunday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, losing the first game to the Bears 9-2 and picking up a win in the second contest.
Twins manager Lance Coz said the first got away from the team because of poor defensive execution, spoiling what he considered to be an impressive pitching show by Corey Grimm.
"Corey pitched a heck of a game, but we didn't back him up," Coz said. "We made lot of mistakes and they capitalized on them."
In particular, Coz referred to errors made in the fifth and seventh innings, when the Bears scored four and three runs, respectively.
The Twins got runs from Chase Townsend and Ely Evanson in the seventh inning, but weren't able to muster enough hitting to drive in more runs.
Grimm pitched the all nine innings and picked up the loss, but Coz was encouraged with Grimm's performance.
"He knows he pitched a good game and he knows he can win," Coz said.
In the second game Twins defense showed up early to contain Bartlett run threats. With a runner on first in the first inning, Bartlett's Pat Moran hit into a 4-6-3 double play, with Twins second baseman Nick Weigle scooping up the grounder and connecting with shortstop Erich Simpson, who fired a missile to first baseman Kenneth Butler.
Three batters into the series, with runners on first and third, Bartlett's Jason Hart knocked a grounder to Simpson, who threw him out at first.
In the bottom of the inning, the Twins bats were first on the scoreboard. Robby Rounsaville hit a double to shallow center field to score Kyle Foster. Then Simpson scored Rounsaville on a single to left field.
In the top of the third, with one out and a runner on first, Bartlett's Tommy Knox belted a triple to the center field wall to score Nic Ridley. Kevin Knox hit a double to right field to score Hart to tie the game at two.
The Bears took the lead in the top of the fifth inning. Simpson overthrew Weigle at first on a routine grounder play and Hart made it to second. A Kevin Knox single whizzed over Butler's head into center field, and Hart scored from second on the play, pushing Bartlett ahead 3-2.
But the Twins rallied in the bottom of the inning with with three runs. A single to right field from Rounsaville scored Zack Hicks from third and Kyle Foster from second, and giving Rounsaville his second and third RBIs on the day.
Behind in the count with two strikes and no balls, Bartlett's right-handed starter Doug Olson tried to steam a fastball past Rounsaville. But Rounsaville caught the heater, sending a fly ball to the right field wall.
"I tried to protect the plate and take whatever the pitcher gave me. I didn't want people stranded," Rounsaville said. "Luckily, he came my way."
Ely Evanson followed with a fly-ball single to right to score Weigle. At the end of five innings, the Twins were up 5-3.
In the top of the seventh inning, the Twins were faced with holding off the Bears to get the win. But this hope was in jeopardy when Twins reliever Kenneth Butler gave up a single to Ridley, then hit Hart to put one runner in scoring position.
With two outs, Kevin Knox singled to center field to score Ridley, but Tim Twombly hit a pop-fly to Twins third baseman Kyle Foster to end the game.
"This demonstrates that we can play with these good teams," Coz said, in spite of his teams relatively late start in the season. "If we play fundamental baseball, we can still win games in the early part of the season."
The Twins' record is 3-5 and Coz said his goal is to reach .500 before the end of June. They will play six games in the next week, beginning with a Wednesday afternoon game against Dimond. Game time is 12:30 p.m. at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
BEARS 9, TWINS 2, Game 1
Bartlett 100 040 300 9 15 1
Twins 000 000 200 2 3 3
T. Knox and Olson; Grimm and Townsend. W T. Knox. L Grimm. 2B Twins: Simpson; Bartlett: Ridley (2), Moran. LOB Service 1, Twins 7.
TWINS 5, BEARS 3, Game 2, 7 innings
Bartlett 002 010 1 4 10 1
Twins 200 030 x 5 9 0
Olson and K. Knox; Hicks and Evanson. W Butler. L Olson. 3B Twins: Rounsaville; Bartlett: T. Knight; 2B Twins: Rounsaville; Bartlett: K. Knox. LOB Bartlett 9, Twins 7.
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