The American Legion Post 20 Twins enter the most crucial portion of their schedule knowing they can beat the best teams in the state, yet not overconfident they can beat the best teams in the state.
The Twins wrapped up their home schedule at Coral Seymour Memorial Park Monday by splitting with Service, currently the second-best team in Anchorage.
The split came on the heels of a Saturday split with East, the best team in Anchorage.
In both doubleheaders, the Twins won the first game before dropping the second.
"I hope we weren't overconfident," said Lance Coz of dropping both game twos. "Obviously, you'd always like to sweep.
"We've got a good ballclub. We've just got to play that way all of the time."
Due to Post 20's upcoming schedule, playing well all of the time will be increasingly important.
The Twins will wrap up their regular season Wednesday with a pair of games at Wasilla at Bumpus Field.
Next, Post 20 heads to Fairbanks Saturday, Sunday and Monday for the District II Tournament. If the Twins qualify, they will then play at state in Anchorage starting July 29.
Monday, the Twins used patience and timely hitting at the plate to take the first game 19-13. Post 20 walked 15 times and collected 13 hits to score all of its runs.
Service cranked out 19 hits in the game, but could not overcome the wildness of its pitching staff. All but three of the walked runners scored for the Twins. In addition, Post 20's No. 9 hitter walked four times and scored each of those times.
"Walks kill, they just do," said Service manager Tim Rumfelt, whose team is now 17-7. "In the first game, we also had five runs score because of outfield errors.
"It's a game of errors, inches and walks."
Aaron Hughes pitched the first five innings, giving up eight runs and 13 hits, to earn the win for the Twins. Willie Castillo and Danny Bookey finished up for the Twins in relief.
Castillo helped his own cause at the plate in game one, going 2-for-2 with five runs and a triple. Paul John Zobeck was 4-for-5 with three doubles, while Josh Edmondson was 1-for-1 with five runs.
While Service gave Post 20 runs in the first game with walks and errors, the Twins returned the favor in the second game with some shoddy fielding.
The Twins committed six errors and left nine runners on base in losing to Service 10-4. Only five of the runs Service scored were earned.
"We gave up six runs in the second game after two were out," Coz said. "We'd get the first two outs, then have a walk and a couple errors, and they'd get more runs.
"We also didn't have any clutch hitting. We left enough runners on base to win the game."
Zobeck pitched the first inning and gave up three runs on four hits. Brad Burck then came on for the Twins and pitched two innings. He gave up six runs, but just two were earned.
Nick Christensen pitched a pair of scoreless, hitless innings before Severin Gardner pitched two innings and gave up one unearned run.
Aaron Sparks paced peninsula at the plate in the second game, going to 2-for-3 with a double.
"Kenai's a solid ballclub," Rumfelt said. "I'm predicting right now they will win the District II tournament.
"They're also going to be tough to deal with at state."
TWINS 19, COUGARS 13
Service 332 000 041 -- 13 19 1
Post 20 430 240 24x -- 19 13 2
Calloway, Enclaw (4), Masters (8), Ennis (8) and Stokes; Hughes, Castillo (6), Bookey (9) and Edmondson. W -- Hughes. L -- Calloway. 2B -- Service: Bumpus 2, Stokes, Witt; Post 20: Zobeck 3. 3B -- Post 20: E. Newby, Castillo. LOB -- Service 11, Post 20 6.
COUGARS 10, TWINS 4
Service 306 000 1 -- 10 10 2
Post 20 002 200 0 -- 4 7 6
Ennis, Ferreira (3), Varela (5) and Stokes; Zobeck, Burck (2), Christensen (4), Gardner (6) and Sanchez. W -- Ennis. L -- Zobeck. 2B -- Service: Nerland, Witt, Varela; Post 20: Sparks, Sanchez. LOB -- Service 8, Post 20 9.
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