The American Legion Twins opened up the Bill Miller-Big Fish Wood Bat Tournament with a win and a loss Tuesday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
In their first game, the Twins received a dominating pitching effort from Kevin Epperheimer to top the Fairbanks 49ers 5-1. In their second game, the Twins dropped a 10-3 decision to State Farm of Colorado Niwot-Boulder.
In the tournament's other two games, Colorado scored three times in the seventh inning to notch a 3-2 victory over the Napoleon (Ohio) River Bandits and Napoleon topped Fairbanks 4-0 behind a shutout from Mike Inselmann.
The tournament is a round robin. Today at Coral Seymour Memorial Park, Fairbanks takes on Colorado at 10 a.m. and Napoleon takes on the Twins at 1 p.m. The Twins also will play New Hampshire at 4 p.m. in a game that is not part of the tournament.
Thursday, the teams will be seeded according to their overall records at the tournament, with the Nos. 3 and 4 teams scheduled to play at 11 a.m. and the Nos. 1 and 2 teams scheduled to play at 2 p.m.
In the victory against Fairbanks, Epperheimer allowed a run and a hit in the first inning. Over the course of the next six innings, he allowed just two more hits in shutting down the 49ers. The Twins defense also did a solid job of backing him up, committing just one error.
"Kevin hadn't pitched in two weeks," Twins manager John Kennedy said. "He gave up that one run in the first, but he did a good job keeping their hitters off-balance."
This is the first year wood bats have been used at the tournament.
"With these woods bats, they have to hit it on the sweet spot or that ball isn't going to go anywhere at all," Kennedy said.
The Twins grabbed the lead for good in the bottom of the first inning, when Justin Simpson scored on an error by the shortstop and Jacob Madrid and Luke Gilbert scored on a single by Erich Simpson.
The Twins added insurance runs in the second and fourth innings. In the second, Shawn Issacs walked and eventually scored on a balk. In the fourth, Luke Oliver walked and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Epperheimer.
The Simpsons each finished with two hits for the Twins.
Against Colorado, the Twins committed four errors and paid the price. Only one of Colorado's first six runs were earned.
"They're a good team," Kennedy said of Colorado. "They took advantage of our mistakes. That's what good teams do."
Luke Oliver took the loss for the Twins, while Mike Harpe picked up the win for Colorado by working five innings and yielding three runs one of which was earned on five hits.
Justin Simpson led the Twins on offense in the game, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
TWINS 5, 49ERS 1
Fairbanks 100 000 0 1 3 3
Twins 310 100 X 5 8 1
Dufseth, Livengood (4) and Pokrivnak; Epperheimer and Ju. Simpson. W Epperheimer. L Dufseth. LOB Fairbanks 6, Twins 6.
COLORADO 10, TWINS 3
Colorado 103 201 3 10 6 2
Twins 201 000 0 3 5 4
Harpe, Squier (6), Young (7) and Hamlin; Oliver, Waters (5) and Ju. Simpson. W Harpe. L Oliver. 3B Colorado: Roth. LOB Colorado 7, Twins 4.
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