Every summer, the American Legion Twins baseball club gets a chance to see just how it stacks up against some pretty stiff competition from the Lower 48.
Arizona 10, Twins 2
Chugiak vs. Twins (d/h) at Coral Seymour Memorial Park, Kenai, 12:30 p.m.
The Twins got their first such chance Tuesday, and manager Lance Coz said his team played a pretty good game in a 10-2 loss to a team from the Arizona Baseball Academy at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
"We got just what we wanted," Coz said. "We threw seven people and they all did a decent job.
"(Arizona) hits the ball well, and if you make a mistake, they hit it deep, but our pitchers got some confidence throwing against those guys."
Indeed, Arizona pounded out 11 hits in the seven-inning affair, including a double, a triple and a home run, but the Twins also thought their pitching was effective and were right in contention, trailing 3-2 after three innings.
Arizona posted one run in each of the first five innings, then added two in the sixth and three in the seventh.
The Twins scored both of their runs in the bottom of the third inning. Zack Hicks led off the inning with and infield single and advanced on a wild pitch, and Jeff Kennedy followed with a base on balls.
Erich Simpson beat out a bunt single to load the bases, and Kyle Foster drew a walk to drive in one run.
After an infield fly out, Robby Rounsaville hit a sacrifice fly to center to plate the second Twins run.
"We played pretty good today," Foster said. "We didn't want to throw our pitchers too much, but we played alright. It was a fun game, though."
The Arizona squad is a comp team playing a Connie Mack schedule, meaning that it can recruit players from a much larger are than American Legion rules allow. The team plays in several tournaments during the summer, and is in Alaska to compete in the BP Tournament this weekend in Anchorage.
Foster said it was nice seeing new teams every now and then.
"You want to see how you do against teams from out of state," Foster said. "We've never seen these guys before, and you want to give it your best shot and see how you can do."
The Twins are now 7-16 overall and will host Chugiak for a doubleheader starting at 12:30 p.m. at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
Foster said the squad definitely is improving.
"Our errors have been cut down in each game," Foster said. "That was what was hurting us at the beginning of the season. We were making errors at the wrong time.
"Now, it seems like the errors we're making aren't coming at crucial times."
Elstenstraut, Lamfre (7) and Spring; Weigle, Simpson (2), Foster (3), Rounsaville (4), Butler (5), Hicks (6), Johansen (7) and Butler, Hicks. W Elstenstraut. L Weigle. 2B Arizona, Solaro; Twins, Rounsaville. 3B Spring. HR Spring.
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