American Legion Twins first baseman Jeff Kennedy makes a catch for the second out in the sixth inning of the second game Saturday against Dimond.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
The American Legion Twins baseball team found some creative ways to score runs to support pitcher Alex Johansen in a 6-3 win over the Dimond Lynx Saturday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Dimond rallied for two runs in the seventh inning, but the home team hung on for a 4-2 win.
"I ate my oatmeal this morning," Johansen said after going nine innings and giving up three runs, one of them earned, on 10 hits while walking one batter and striking out three in the opening game.
"I've never done that before (pitched a complete game). I'm thankful, we played awesome defense. I'm thankful for my teammates."
Cole Chappell makes a throw for the Twins in the seventh inning of Saturday's second game.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
On offense, the Twins pressured the Lynx every time a runner reached base. Luke Gilbert was the first to reach base, getting on by way of an error with one out in the second inning. Gilbert advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches and scored on a single by Erich Simpson. Simpson also was aggressive on the basepaths, advancing to second on a wild pitch and scoring on a single by Jeff Kennedy.
The Twins added three more runs in the fifth inning as Scott Foster and Luke Oliver drew one-out walks. Justin Simpson singled in a run and took second on the throw to the plate, Oliver scored from third when Shawn Issacs reached on an error, and Simpson scored on a single by Gilbert.
The Twins added an insurance run in the eighth inning as Kennedy was hit by a pitch and took third on a single by Cole Chappell. The Twins then executed a play on which they've been working, sending Chappell on an early steal to draw a throw. On the throw, Kennedy broke for the plate and was safe as Dimond's second baseman dropped the ball. Chappell wound up safe at second when he was hit with the ball as the Lynx tried to get him in a rundown between first and second.
"We've been working on a couple of plays," Justin Simpson said. "First and third, early steal we tried a suicide squeeze today, but that didn't work out.
"(Executing those plays) makes us feel tricky, like we outsmarted the other team."
On defense, the Twins turned two double plays behind Johansen, the first in the second inning after the Lynx put runners on first and second with back-to-back singles. Third baseman Erich Simpson fielded a hard grounder and stepped on third for the first out, then fired to first to get the batter.
Johansen then got a grounder to first and hustled over to cover the bag, taking the toss from first baseman Jacob Madrid to end the inning.
The Twins also ended the game with a twin-killing as shortstop Luke Gilbert snared a line drive in the top of the ninth, then doubled up a runner at first base.
"They (Dimond) outhit us today, but we were able to spread the hits around and play good defense," said Twins head coach John Kennedy.
The Twins also got a heads-up out to end the fifth inning. On a single with runners at first and second, the throw from center field pulled catcher Justin Simpson away from the plate. While one run scored, Simpson alertly threw down to second base where Jeff Kennedy applied the tag to the batter trying to stretch his single for the third out of the inning.
"We made a few errors, but a good team is able to minimize the damage," John Kennedy said.
Kennedy noted that his team has matured since last season, when one miscue would have led to a game-losing collapse.
"Part of it is maturity. We've been on the other end where one error turns into six runs. They're a little more mature. When they make an error, they're able to relax and play ball," Kennedy said.
Shawn Issacs threw six innings to earn the win in the second game for the Twins. The Twins pushed a run across the plate in the second inning, then added two more in the fourth as Erich Simpson hit an RBI single.
The Twins added an insurance run in the sixth inning.
The Twins will face South Anchorage today at Seymour Park in a doubleheader starting at 12:30 p.m.
TWINS 6, LYNX 3
Dimond 000 210 000 3 10 4
Kenai 020 030 01x 6 6 2
Phillips, Strid (6) and Knowles; Johansen and J. Simpson. W Johansen. L Strid. 3B Lynx, Strid.
TWINS 4, LYNX 2
Dimond 000 000 2 2 7 2
Kenai 010 201 x 4 4 1
Wynne, Speight (5) and McAlees; Issacs, E. Simpson and J. Simpson. W Issacs. L Wynne.
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