Generally speaking, the weather on a rainy day is another challenge to overcome. For the American Legion Post 20 Twins baseball team, it became somewhat of an ally Saturday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
The Twins recovered from some early mistakes to defeat East 11-10 in the first game of a doubleheader, but dropped game two 7-2.
The Twins were able to take advantage of the slippery conditions late in game one, plating four runs on two hits in the eighth and scoring three runs without a hit in the ninth.
All that set the stage for Nick Christensen's game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th.
"The were some butterflies in my stomach," Christensen said. "I just tried to put the ball in play. I never would have been in that position if the guys ahead of me hadn't gotten on base."
The game could have ended in regulation in the ninth inning. With two outs the bases loaded, the East first baseman dropped an infield pop-up that would have ended the ballgame with the visitors up 9-7.
By the same token, had the Twins baserunners been running as hard as they ought to have been with two outs on the play, it's likely that two runs would have scored on the play instead of one, and Post 20 might have been able to go on to win it in the ninth.
Instead, the game went into the tenth inning. Twins starter Danny Bookey got one out and walked one batter before being lifted for Severin Gardner. Gardner walked the first batter he faced and threw a wild pitch, sending the runners to second and third, before the umpires called for the field to be covered.
When play resumed 45 minutes later, East got a ground out to second to score the go-ahead run, but Gardner got another ground out to end the inning.
Willie Castillo nearly beat out a grounder to third to start the Twins half of the inning, but Brad Burck followed with a base on balls and Paul John Zobeck smashed a double to the wall in left-center field to tie the game once again.
Shaun Williams drew a walk and Christensen followed with his hit to right field. Zobeck started to hold at third on the play, but the East right fielder's throw was wide of the plate, giving Zobeck the opportunity to scamper home.
"It just shows our willingness to stay in the game and to keep fighting back," Christensen said. "Something good happens when you play hard. We played hard today."
Zobeck finished game one with a pair of doubles, a pair of singles and two RBIs. Mike Sauer had a two-run single during Post 20's eighth inning rally and Joey Newby scored three times on a pair of walks and a hit by pitch.
East scored three runs in the top of the second inning of game two, and while the Twins cut into that lead with a pair of runs in the third, East was able to stretch its lead in the late innings for the win.
Zobeck hit a two-run triple in the third to plate both Post 20 runs. The blast to right plated Aaron Hughes, who had reached with a walk, and Castillo, who had singled.
Post 20 has one more home doubleheader today at 12:30 p.m. against Service at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
Then the Twins hit the road, stopping in the Valley to play Wasilla Wednesday and then heading up to Fairbanks for the District II tournament, which starts Saturday.
TWINS 11, EAST 10
Post 34 030 101 040 1 -- 10 15 6
Post 20 000 002 043 2 -- 11 8 4
Babcock, Madden (7), Jones and Hadley; Bookey, Gardner (10) and Edmondson. W -- Gardner. L -- Bookey. 2B -- East, Hadley; Twins, Zobeck 2. 3B -- East, Wylie.
EAST 7, TWINS 2
Post 34 030 130 0 -- 7 7 0
Post 20 002 000 9 -- 2 5 4
Jones and Hadley; Burck, Christensen (5), Castillo (5) and Sanchez. W -- Jones. L -- Burck. 2B -- East, Madden, Hadley. 3B -- Twins, Zobeck.
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