The American Legion Twins baseball team just had one of those days Wednesday.
"We've been playing tough baseball, but the baseball gods just haven't been on our side," said Twins manager Lance Coz after the visiting Wasilla Road Warriors took advantage of four Twins errors in the ninth inning to tie the score before downing the Twins 7-6 in 12 innings at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
The home team ran out of gas in the second game, losing to Wasilla 8-1.
The Twins got off to a good start in the first game. After Wasilla scored a run in the top of the first inning, the Twins answered with three in the bottom of the frame.
Kyle Foster drew a leadoff walk, stole second and took third on a passed ball. After a groundout and a strikeout, Erich Simpson drove Foster home with a single to left-center field.
The next batter, Jacob Madrid, was hit by a pitch, and after Brett Toering reached on an error to load the bases, Zack Hicks singled to left to drive in two runs. Toering was tagged out trying to reach third from first on the play, though, ending the inning.
Wasilla tied the game at three with two unearned runs in the top of the second, but the Twins regained their lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth.
Robby Rounsaville hit a one-out double, took third when Simpson reached on an error and scored on a sharp line drive to third by Madrid.
The Wasilla third baseman scooped Madrid's liner off his shoestrings, and though the umpire never signaled an out, Simpson froze at first base, only to be tagged out when the rest of the Wasilla infield figured out what had happened.
Wasilla tied it again in the sixth, but the Twins scored again in the seventh. Foster hit a leadoff single, took second on a sacrifice bunt by Nick Weigle and advanced to third on a fly-ball out to right field by Rounsaville. Foster scored easily on Simpson's double to the wall in left.
Wasilla tied the game once more in the top of the ninth as the Twins defense had trouble fielding a succession of bunts, sending the game to extra innings.
Wasilla took the lead in the top of the 12th, scoring two unearned runs before the Twins were able to tag out a runner at home that had tried to tag up on a pop fly to shallow center.
The Twins got one run back when Wasilla reliever Dave Sandvik walked the bases full with two outs and Simpson scored on a wild pitch, but Sandvik induced a ground ball to end the game.
"Wins are getting tough to come by," Coz said. "We showed a lot coming back after those two runs were scored. It would have been easy to roll over."
The Twins will have another shot at Wasilla Saturday to open the three-team District II Tournament in Fairbanks. The winner will face Fairbanks in a semifinal game while the loser will face the semifinal loser for the chance to play in the championship game Sunday.
All three squads will go to the state tournament in Anchorage, but the tournament will determine where each squad is seeded.
Coz said that despite some unlucky results of late, the baseball gods could still smile on the Twins before the season is done.
"As long as the guys stay focused, it's still a toss-up," Coz said.
ROAD WARRIORS 7, TWINS 6, 12 inn.
Wasilla 120 001 001 002 7 11 3
Kenai 300 010 010 001 6 9 8
Mahoney, Sandvik (9) and Colgrove; Weigle, Johansen (10) and Butler. W Sandvik. L Johansen. 2B Wasilla, Coan, Scott; Twins, Rounsaville, Simpson.
ROAD WARRIORS 8, TWINS 1
Wasilla 300 400 1 8 10 0
Kenai 010 000 0 1 5 2
Ressler and Colegrove; Johansen, Kennedy (1), Hicks (5) and Butler. W Ressler. L Johansen. 2B Wasilla, A. Morlan, Ressler. 3B Colegrove.
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