The American Legion Post 20 Twins baseball team wrapped up its regular season Wednesday with a win and a tie against the South Peninsula Storm in Homer, and with the team on a roll, the Twins' chances in the District II tournament are looking good.
"I think it started last week with the sweep of Service," said Post 20 manager Lance Coz. "We have some momentum going into the tournament."
Wednes-day's doubleheader, scheduled to start at 2 p.m., didn't get under way until about 5 p.m. The Twins took the first game, which was slated for nine innings and counts in the district standings, by a score of 5-1. The second game, a seven-inning, non-district affair, was tied 3-3 after regulation and was called on account of darkness, leaving the Twins with an overall season record of 22-20-1.
Danny Bookey pitched a complete game for the win in the front end of the doubleheader, allowing one run on seven hits and one walk while striking out nine batters, improving to 8-3 on the season.
Nick Weigle provided the timely hit for the Twins in the first inning with his two-run single, plating Cory Janson and David Newby, both of whom had reached with a base on balls.
Gresham Oliver walked with one out in the second , advanced on a bunt single by Janson and scored on an error.
Janson reached on an error with two outs in the ninth. Newby followed with a single, and both players scored on a single by Kyle Foster.
The Twins led off the second game with two runs in the first inning. J.D. Pault singled, stole second and advanced to third on an error that allowed Quincy Bird to reach safely. Bird stole second, and both runners scored on a sacrifice fly by Adrian Borchgrevink.
Kenneth Butler walked to lead off the Twins' half of the sixth, advanced on a ground out by Weigle and a single by Justin Payment and scored on a bunt single by Oliver.
Dominic Plasencia threw five innings for the Twins, giving up one run on six hits, walking one and striking out two. Payment pitched the last two innings, allowing two runs on two hits while striking out two.
The District II tournament begins Saturday. The Twins, Juneau and Fairbanks each enter the tournament with 18 points in district play, but tie-breakers gave Juneau the No. 1 seed, Fairbanks No. 2 and Post 20 the No. 3 spot. Wasilla (No. 4) and Homer (No. 5) round out the district field.
Post 20 opens against Wasilla at 10 a.m. on the Road Warriors' home field at the Bumpus Complex in Wasilla. The winner faces Juneau at 6 p.m.
Coz said he likes his squad's position to start the tournament.
"You're going to face the good ballclubs anyway, so why not play them in the first game?" Coz said. "The biggest negative is the fact that if you play that first game, the winner plays Zagain on Saturday."
The Twins have been playing doubleheaders all season, though, and Coz has been working on developing a deep bench all season anyway.
"In 60 percent of our games this season, the lineup was something other than what I would have preferred," Coz said. "Once you get past the part of having a tremendous winning season, it allows you to relax and build depth on your ballclub. We've got a number of players who will help us out."
Bookey will rest until Sunday, and Coz plans to start Brad Burck in the tournament opener. Aaron Hughes has been a steady presence on the mound and Justin Payment has been strong out of the bullpen.
Eric Newby leads the team with a .455 batting average, with David Newby just behind him at .380 heading into Wednesday's games. With Eric Newby and David Newby setting the table, the rest of the Post 20 lineup has had the opportunity of batting with runners on base on a regular basis.
The double-elimination tournament continues Sunday, with the championship game scheduled for Monday at 2 p.m. If it is the first loss of the tournament for the loser of that game, the tournament title will be decided Tuesday at noon.
TWINS 5, STORM 1
Post 20 210 000 002 -- 5 5 1
Homer 000 000 100 -- 1 7 6
Bookey and Payment; Roundsville, Burns (6), Schwartz (9) and Pollack, Deshaw (6). W -- Bookey (8-3). L -- Roundsville. 2B -- Storm, Roundsville. HR -- Storm, Crum. LOB -- Twins 8, Storm 5.
TWINS 3, STORM 3
Post 20 200 001 0 -- 3 4 2
Homer 000 102 0 -- 3 8 1
Plasencia, Payment (6) and Butler; Kuhns and Pollack. 2B -- Twins, Payment; Storm, Kuhns. LOB -- Twins 8, Storm 9.
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