Sometimes, even the moral victory gets away.
After hanging in there with American Legion Post 300 River Bandits from Napoleon, Ohio, in the first game of a doubleheader before losing 9-7 Monday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park, the Post 20 Twins found themselves on the wrong end of a 10-run rule decision in game two, losing 17-6 in six innings.
"We ran out of everything. We even ran out of Gatorade," said Twins manager Lance Coz after game two. "It was evident we were out of pitching going into (Sunday's) games. Today, we were just trying to piece things together.
"I like the fact that we came back, tried to rally and push the game to seven innings. It would have been a moral victory."
The first game started out promising enough for the Twins. After loading the bases on a pair of singles and a walk, Post 20 starter Ely Evanson struck out three straight batters to get out of the jam.
The Twins offense gave him some support in the bottom of the frame, striking for three runs on three hits, including an RBI double by David Newby and a two-run single by Nick Weigle.
The River Bandits put an unearned run on the board in the top of the second, but the Twins answered in the bottom of the second when David Newby drew a walk, advanced all the way to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kenneth Butler and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Weigle.
The River Bandits got to Evanson in the third inning, though, scoring six runs on six hits, including doubles by James Yenser and Cole Rathbun.
Post 300 added an unearned run in the fourth and scored on a balk call in the sixth to take a 9-4 lead.
The Twins rallied for three runs in the seventh, two of them scoring on a single by Evanson, but River Bandits relief pitcher Dusty Bergman came on with two outs and got a strikeout to end the game.
Cory Grimm got the start for the Twins in the second game and cruised through the first two innings.
The River Bandits took control of the game with eight runs on six hits in the top of the third, though, and added seven more runs on five hits in the top of the fifth.
The Twins scored one run in the bottom of the fourth inning, and avoided ending the game after the fifth inning by rallying for five runs. Evanson provided the big hit in the rally, driving in a pair of runs with his double.
Post 300 scored two more runs in the top of the sixth, though, and the Twins couldn't come up with another answer to prolong the game.
The River Bandits have played nine games on their Alaska trip and are 8-1 in the Great Land, their only loss coming at the hands of Service.
Head coach Randy Bachman said that he knew ahead of time that the competition wouldn't of the same caliber as his team would face in the Lower 48, simply because his team started practicing in March while most Alaska teams don't even get on the field until May.
Still, he said, it had been a worthwhile trip, and added that teams here put a different wrinkle in their defense.
"The left and right fielders play tighter to the line a lot. I've seen every Alaska team play it that way," Bachman said.
Bachman said that his defensive philosophy is to shade toward center field, figuring that a drive down the line is a double no matter what, but a player might be able to cut something off hit in the gap. He said that several line drives down the line have been caught during the course of their trip, rather than dropping in for extra bases.
Despite the losses, the Twins used the games as a means to gauge their level of play against the rest of the country.
"You can see how other kids in the United States are doing, and you can see if we're really behind with our three months of baseball," said Post 20's Kyle Foster. "It helps kids who want to play college ball see what their chances are down there."
The Twins will play Outside teams from New Jersey, Arizona and Idaho later this season. Their next contest is a Saturday doubleheader at Coral Seymour Memorial Park against West starting at 12:30 p.m.
RIVER BANDITS 9, TWINS 7
Napoleon, Ohio, Post 300 016 101 0 -- 9 12 2
Kenai Post 20 301 000 3 -- 7 8 3
Lower, Whitcomb (6), Bergman (7) and Stantz; Evanson, France (4), Kennedy (6) and Butler, Evanson (4). W -- Lower. L -- Evanson. 2B -- Bandits, Yenser, Rathbun; Twins, D, Newby.
RIVER BANDITS 17, TWINS 6
Napoleon Post 300 008 072 -- 17 14 0
Kenai Post 20 000 150 -- 6 6 3
Bergman, Labie and Rathbun; Grimm, France (3), Gardner (4), Foster (5), Butler (6) and Evanson. W -- Bergman. L -- Grimm. 2B -- Bandits, Rathbun. Twins, Evanson. 3B -- Bandits, Trauthwein. HR -- Bandits, Creek.
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