West Warwick, R.I., continued a successful swing through Alaska by winning the Bill Miller Wood Bat Invitational on Thursday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
West Warwick defeated the Wasilla Road Warriors 8-2 in the tournament's championship game. West Warwick finished 4-0 in the tournament and now is 7-1 in the Last Frontier after previously winning a tournament in the Matanuska-Susitna valleys. The team will try its luck at a tournament in Anchorage before heading home.
"Every ballgame they played in the tournament, they had one big inning in which they scored multiple runs," American Legion Twins manager John Butler said. "They'd get one guy on and single everybody to death."
Against Wasilla, the big inning came in the bottom of the fifth, when West Warwick turned a 3-2 lead into an 8-2 lead by collecting six hits.
Tim Printer got the win for West Warwick, while Rich Lizotte got the save. On offense, Tim Parente was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Dan Caron was 2-for-3. West Warwick finished with 10 hits and no errors. Wasilla had four hits and four errors.
Earlier in the day, the Twins defeated Service 10-5 for third place and to improve their overall record to 12-20.
The game started at 10 a.m and showers periodically peppered the field, especially early in the game.
"I don't think either team was awake at the start of the game," Butler said. "I'm used to us making those kinds of errors, but I'm not used to Service making those kinds of errors."
Early in the game, during the heavier rain, the game slowed down as both Twins starter DJ Stilchen and Service starter Cory Wiles allowed a lot of deep counts and baserunners.
Service took the lead in the first when Stephen Ferntheil singled to score Chase Van Allen, but the Twins came back in the bottom of the inning when Josiah Covey singled to score AJ Hull. Kevin Neally scored on a double steal for Service in the top of the second, but there was another play that would affect the game later.
Trace Woodruff ripped a pitch off Stilchen's shin. Third baseman Mikey Griffin alertly bare-handed the ball and tossed it to catcher Tyler Marcuson to get the out at the plate, but the shot to the ankle would affect Stilchen later.
"I should have taken him out right away, but he talked me into staying in there," Butler said. "When you hurt your ankle like that, it's going to throw everything off."
Ferntheil and Crabb scored runs in the top of the third to give the Cougars a 4-1 lead in what would be Stilchen's final inning.
It would be the second straight day a Twins starter would have to leave early, but Twins reliever Marcuson came to the rescue. Marcuson would pitch the last four innings and give up a run on four hits to pick up the win.
"The rain didn't bother me too much," Marcuson said. "The ump did a good job of keeping the balls dry by switching them out."
Normally a catcher himself, Marcuson also made sure to credit Pat Pickett for a solid game behind the plate.
The Twins tied the game in the bottom of the third. Braden Price scored on an error, Jake Darrow scored when Marcuson was hit by a pitch, and Josiah Covey scored when Steven Steger was hit by a pitch.
The Twins then took the lead with a big fourth-inning rally. They scored six runs on five hits, while Service committed three errors in an inning when every fly ball was an adventure. The big blow in the inning was a two-RBI single by Griffin.
After the fourth, the skies settled down, and so did the players. The Twins went hitless for the rest of the game, while Service had just one run on four hits. The Twins were able to turn a pair of double plays and committed just one error for the game.
"We would have loved to be playing in the championship game," Marcuson said. "It's where we felt we should be."
Marcuson completed a tournament of hot hitting by going 2-for-2 with two RBIs, while Price, Covey and Darrow were 2-for-4 with two runs.
For Service, Van Allen, Crabb, Sam Eckhardt and Zach Farentheil were all 2-for-3.
The Twins jump back into conference play with a doubleheader in Anchorage against Bartlett on Saturday.
Twins 10, Cougars 5
Service 112 001 0 -- 5 9 5
Twins 103 600 X -- 10 10 1
Wiles, Z. Farentheil (4), Crabb (5), Miller (6) and Neally; Stilchen, Marcuson (4) and Marcuson, Pickett (4). W -- Marcuson. L -- Wiles. LOB -- Cougars 12, Twins 6.
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