American Legion Twins' Kevin Epperheimer makes a throw to first for an out in the fifth inning of the second game on Saturday against South Anchorage.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
The Kenai American Legion Post 20 Twins took a couple innings to get going Saturday, but rallied from a 4-0 deficit to beat visiting South Anchorage 7-5 in the first game of a doubleheader at Coral Seymour Memorial Park.
In the second game, the Twins took control early with three runs in the first inning on their way to a 7-2 win.
“We had two errors right from the get-go errors and walks always come in to score but once they finally got the blood pumping, got the bats going and started playing defense, they did really well,” said Twins coach John Butler after the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
The Twins have one more home date on the schedule, a doubleheader with West today at 12:30 p.m. at Seymour Park. After that, the team will head to Fairbanks for the district tournament, which starts Wednesday.
“We’re playing these last four games like a tournament. We’re using them as a tune-up, coming out to see if we can win three in a row,” Butler said.
Against South, the Twins gave up three unearned runs in the top of the second inning. South tacked on one more when Zack Sterling hit a home run to lead off the third.
American Legion Twins' Ethan Waters collects a hit for an RBI in the fifth inning of Saturday's second game against South Anchorage.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
The Twins finally got going at the plate in the bottom of the third inning. Luke Oliver drew a walk and stole second, and Luke Gilbert and Kevin Epperheimer followed with back-to-back, run-scoring doubles. Epperheimer scored when the throw down to first on a dropped third strike went astray.
“We made a few errors, but by the third inning, we realized we needed to get it together,” Epperheimer said. “I think the whole team knew we were going to come back and win.”
The Twins took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. Gilbert drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a single by Epperheimer. Epperheimer stole second, drawing a throw that was cut off short of second by the shortstop, but the throw over to third to pickoff Gilbert sailed wide of the bag, allowing Gilbert to score and Epperheimer to take third. Epperheimer scored on a sacrifice fly by Jordan Waters.
Gilbert picked up his second RBI of the game on a sacrifice fly, and the Twins took advantage of an error to add a pair of insurance runs in the sixth inning.
Twins starting pitcher Steve Mabeus was able to let his defense do the work, getting plenty of groundball outs through eight innings of work, and Oliver pitched the ninth, giving up one run, for the save.
“The way I pitch, every outing, I’m trying to get ground balls, and let my team do it,” Mabeus said. “Our pitching coach (Mike Smith) has been working hard with us. He’s got everything set up so we have out best guys going and our best guys in the pen.”
In the second game, Jordan Waters picked up a two-run single and Jake Simpson drove in a run with a base hit in the first inning for the Twins.
The Twins added a run in the third as Waters singled to drive in Gilbert, who had reached on an error and stolen second. Two more Twins runs crossed the plate in the fourth inning, with Gilbert picking up an RBI, and Jordan Waters doubled to lead off the fifth, advancing on a groundout by Simpson and scoring on a groundout by Ethan Waters.
Shawn Isaacs worked seven innings for the complete-game win, striking out eight and walking just one batter. Isaacs scattered three hits in the game.
Jordan Waters went 3-for-3 in the game, scoring twice and driving in three runs.
With the district tournament starting this week, Butler said his team still has a little bit of work to do to be playing its best baseball.
“I don’t think that we’re peaking yet. We’ve still got a little ways to go to where we’re consistent. We’re hoping (Saturday’s and today’s) ballgames are where we’ll see our best baseball,” Butler said.
Twins 7, Wolverines 5
South Anchorage 031 000 001 5 10 4
Kenai 003 022 00x 7 8 7
Lemley, Graham (6) and Agate, Costello; Mabeus, Oliver (9) and E. Waters. W Mabeus. L Lemley. S Oliver. 2B Twins, J. Simpson, L. Gilbert, Epperheimer, Isaacs. 3B South, Skillern; Twins, Simpson. HR South, Sterling.
Twins 7, Wolverines 2
South Anchorage 010 000 1 2 3 2
Kenai 301 210 x 7 8 0
Ziemer, Graham (5) and Costello, Graham, Agate; Isaacs and E. Waters. W Isaacs. L Ziemer. 2B South, Snyder; Twins, Mabeus, J. Waters.
Bears 7, Twins 6, 10 inn.
Kenai 100 000 002 3 6 11 4
Bartlett 000 000 003 4 7 10 3
Lamphier, Oliver (10) and E. Waters; Twombly, Brame (8) and Knox, Marquez. W Brame. L Oliver. 2B Twins, J. Simpson, Mabeus.
Twins 17, Bears 7
Kenai 201 (10)04 17 13 4
Bartlett 000 070 7 10 4
Stalker, J. Gilbert (6) and E. Waters; Mineses, Hester (4), Forsyth (4) and Marquez. W Stalker. L Mineses. 2B Twins Mabeus, J. Simpson, Epperheimer; Bears, Twombly. 3B Twins, Gilbert.
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