Twins, Fairbanks split doubleheader

Posted: Thursday, July 01, 2010

The American Legion Twins split a doubleheader with the Fairbanks 49ers on Wednesday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

The Twins won the first game 11-4 in a game scheduled for nine innings that was stopped in the eighth inning due to the mercy rule. The 49ers took the second game 24-5 in a game scheduled for seven innings that was stopped after six innings due to the mercy rule.

The 49ers are now 11-2, while the Twins are 6-5 in the league and 7-16 overall.

"We came out and played at 80 percent of our capability," Twins manager John Butler said of the first game.

When asked about the second game, Butler said: "We played at 3 percent of our capability, if you're stretching it."

DJ Stilchen picked up the win in the first game, going seven innings and giving up six hits while striking out six. Mikey Griffin pitched the last inning for the Twins.

49ers manager Bob Hermes was impressed with Stilchen.

"I really liked what I saw," Hermes said. "I just don't like it when we're playing against him."

While Butler said the pitching was good, he also said the defense played well behind Stilchen. He said the team also did a good job running the bases and hitting the ball.

Steven Steger was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run; Ethan Oliver was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs; and Braden Price and Jake Darrow each scored a pair of runs.

In the second game, the 49ers immediately turned the tables, jumping on Steger for six runs in the first inning and three runs in the second inning before chasing him.

"John was playing some of his young guys," Hermes said. "We only have 11 guys on this trip so we couldn't do that.

"I would imagine that had a lot to do with the result in the second game."

Butler did not entirely accept that reasoning.

"It wasn't all the young guys," Butler said. "We had some senior guys not fulfilling what they are capable of doing.

"They didn't take the second game as seriously as the first."

Keegan Grantham and Dustin Birklid were able to keep the Twins' bats quiet in the second game. Grantham gave up four hits and five runs -- three earned -- in three innings before Birklid pitched the final three innings and gave up two hits and no runs.

Fairbanks set the tone in the first inning by stealing four bases.

"We always try and play aggressively when we have runners on base," Hermes said.

He said his team is young and inexperienced, but one area in which the team excels is speed.

Butler said the 49ers learned to time Steger's move to the plate early in the game and used that timing to steal bases.

Fairbanks put the game far out of reach by scoring 10 runs in the top of the sixth. Curtis Wolfe had a pair of triples, three runs and five RBIs to lead the 49ers on offense.

For the Twins, Covey went 2-for-3.

The same two teams will play a 12:30 p.m. doubleheader today at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.

"I just love coming down here," said Hermes, whose squad was treated to some tasty ribs between games. "The people here are great. They treat us like royalty."

Twins 11, 49ers 4, 8 inn.

Fairbanks 012 000 10 -- 4 7 2

Twins 200 026 01 -- 11 11 6

Bolles, Whittaker (7) and Wixon; Stilchen, Griffin (8) and Marcuson. W -- Stilchen. L -- Bolles. 2B -- Twins: Marcuson, Griffin, Covey. LOB -- 49ers 7, Twins 8.

49ers 24, Twins 5, 6 inn.

Fairbanks 632 12(10) -- 24 12 1

Twins 014 000 -- 5 6 4

Grantham, Birklid (4) and Wixon; Steger, Thompson (3), Oliver (6) and Pickett. W -- Grantham. L -- Steger. 2B -- 49ers: Clark; Twins: Steger. 3B -- 49ers: Wolfe 2; Twins: B. Price. LOB -- 49ers 4, Twins 6.

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