American Legion Twins third baseman Erich Simpson lands hard with the ball after making a catch for an out in the sixth inning Thursday against the Colorado team.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
The American Legion Twins lost 6-3 Thursday to State Farm of Colorado Niwot-Boulder in the championship game of the Bill Miller Big Fish Wood Bat Tournament at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
Colorado took advantage of the errors of the Twins defense and the wildness of Twins pitching to score six runs in the first three innings of the game.
Using wood bats, which have a much smaller sweet spot than aluminum bats, the Twins were hard-pressed to catch up.
Down 6-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, the Twins tried to mount a rally against Colorado reliever Scott Young.
The Twins had seen Young in an earlier tournament game Tuesday, so they knew his fastball was quick but straight.
Jacob Madrid started off the inning by blooping a single the opposite way, while Kevin Epperheimer followed by taking first base after getting plunked in the head. Epperheimer was fine and stayed in the game.
With the outfield playing shallow due to the use of wood bats, Luke Gilbert smacked a line drive just over the left fielder's head for a two-RBI double.
After that, Young found his form. He recorded a fly out to left field, then struck out the next four hitters he faced to nail down the championship for his side.
"Today, we came out with a little attitude," Twins manager John Kennedy said. "I don't think we were quite ready for this game, and we came out and played that way."
In the first inning, three of the four Colorado runs that scored came from runners that reached due to walks or hit batsman by starter Jeff Kennedy. There also was a Twins error in the inning that led to two of the runs being unearned.
In the second and third inning, Twins' errors led to both of the runs being unearned.
The Twins got their other run in the second inning, when Luke Gilbert singled, advanced to second on a single by Erich Simpson, reached third on an error by the left fielder and scored a squeeze bunt by Travis Mercier.
John Kennedy said the three-day tournament went well, but he said the championship game was not a great game. The Twins had five hits and Colorado had four hits. The Twins made five errors while Colorado made three errors.
Casey Lippoldt finished 2-for-2 with a run for Colorado, while Gilbert was 2-for-3 with a run for the Twins. Josh Kupfner recorded the victory on the mound for Colorado.
The Twins travel to Anchorage for games Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, the Twins have a 12:30 p.m. doubleheader against Dimond. Sunday, the Twins have a 12:30 p.m. doubleheader against West.
In the third-place game, the Napoleon, Ohio, River Bandits defeated the Fairbanks 49ers 14-4.
COLORADO 6, TWINS 3
Colorado 411 000 0 6 4 3
Twins 010 002 0 3 5 5
Kupfner, S. Young (6) and Finch; Kennedy, Issacs (3), Mabeus (5), E. Simpson and J. Simpson, Waters (2). W Kupfner. L Kennedy. 2B Colorado: Ratliff; Twins: Gilbert. LOB Colorado 6, Twins 5.
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