The American Legion Post 20 Peninsula Twins finished up a week-long road trip Tuesday by splitting a doubleheader with the Tri-Cities 49ers of Fairbanks.
Post 20 ended with a 5-3 record on the road trip, but more importantly Twins manager Lance Coz said the journey did a good job of bringing his team together.
"These trips will either make you or break you," Coz said. "We managed to have a little fun on the way. Monday, we had the day off and we did miniature golf, movies and a barbecue.
"When you've got to sit next to a guy on a bus ride for 1,000 miles, either you get to like him or you're in trouble."
In Tuesday's first game against the 49ers, the Twins rode the right arm of Danny Bookey to a 10-4 victory. Post 20 knew going into the doubleheader that it would be short on pitching, so Bookey's effort took on added importance.
Bookey, now 3-1 on the year, finished the nine innings in just 96 pitches and managed to scatter 12 hits while giving up four runs. The Twins also came through in the field, committing just two errors to Tri-Cities' six.
"We'd sat on Bookey all weekend specifically so he could pitch that game," Coz said.
Eric Newby paced the Twins at the plate, collecting three hits and scoring a pair of runs. Also for Post 20, Quincy Bird had two hits and two runs, Justin Payment had two hits and two RBIs, David Newby had two hits and Ely Evanson scored two runs.
The win was a big one for the Twins, because it pushed their district record to 1-1. Only nine-inning games count toward the district record. The district record is important because the best team gets a bye, and a chance to save pitching, at the district tournament.
In Tuesday's second game, Tri-Cities, which had lost twice to Post 20 in the Midnight Sun Tournament over the weekend, finally figured out a way to defeat the Twins. In a game scheduled for seven innings, Fairbanks topped Post 20 9-8 in eight innings.
"We wanted that fourth one (against Fairbanks) really bad," Coz said. "We knew going in we'd have a quilt work of pitching."
The Twins, who used five pitchers in the eight-inning game, were trailing 4-0 entering the top of the sixth inning before erupting for eight runs.
Post 20 had an 8-7 lead entering the bottom of the seventh, but an error allowed the 49ers to get to losing pitcher Norton Dablemont for a run.
In the eighth, Dablemont retired the first two batters, but then the 49ers stayed alive when a runner reached first after the ball got away from the catcher after a strikeout. The winning run then scored when a napping defense allowed a runner to score from first on an infield single.
David Newby had two hits for the Twins in the loss, while Kenneth Butler had two RBIs.
Today, the Twins return to Coral Seymour Memorial Park for the first time since June 11 when they take on Homer in a doubleheader that will start at 2 p.m.
Tuesday's first game
TWINS 10, 49ERS 4
Post 20 010 400 401 -- 10 10 2
Tri-Cities 000 102 010 -- 4 12 6
Bookey and Payment; Wilson, Lear (8) and Milliken. W -- Bookey. L -- Wilson. 2B -- Twins: E. Newby. 3B -- 49ers: Milliken. LOB -- Post 20 10, Tri-Cities 10.
Tuesday's second game
49ERS 9, TWINS 8, 8 inn.
Post 20 000 008 00 -- 8 7 5
Tri-Cities 000 223 11 -- 9 4 2
D. Newby, Evanson (4), Plasencia (5), Payment (5), Dablemont (7) and Butler; Coldiron, Johnson (5), Lee (6) and Milliken. W -- Lee. L -- Dablemont. 2B -- Twins: D. Newby, Foster, Bird. LOB -- Post 20 9, Tri-Cities 6.
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