The Post 20 Twins rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but their comeback bid fell short as East took a 10-7 win in the opening round of the Alaska State American Legion Baseball Tournament Monday at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.
"It was a good game -- we just didn't get the timely hits when we needed them," said Twins manager Lance Coz. "We left a lot of runners on base, and we had some errors and some wild pitches that allowed runners to score from third."
The Twins are still in contention for the title at the double-elimination tournament. Post 20 will play Tri-Cities of Fairbanks today at 9 a.m.
Post 20 answered East's two-run first with three runs of its own.
Aaron Sparks led off with a double and Willie Castillo drew a walk. Both runners advanced on a passed ball and scored on Joey Newby's single.
Newby advanced on a stolen base and an error and scored on a sacrifice fly by Paul John Zobeck.
East added two runs in both the third and fourth innings, though, and the Twins didn't put up another number in the scoring column until the bottom of the fifth.
Castillo led off the frame with a single and Newby followed with a two-run homer to pull the Twins to within a run.
"It cleared the left field fence, and it was well past that," Coz said of Newby's blast.
East gave itself a cushion with two runs in the sixth and two more in the eighth.
The Twins rallied in the ninth when Castillo and Newby drew back-to-back walks to lead off the inning.
Mike Sauer walked to load the bases with one out, and Nick Christensen singled to score Castillo. Eric Newby followed with a single that plated Joey Newby, but the Twins were unable to push any more runs across, ending the game with the bases loaded.
Severin Gardner started the game for the Twins on the mound and went three innings, striking out three and walking four. Gardner allowed four runs on three hits, taking the loss.
When Coz saw that Gardner wasn't throwing with his usual effectiveness, he pulled him from the game, giving Gardner the opportunity to start for the Twins today.
Danny Bookey pitched six innings in relief of Gardner, allowing six runs on nine hits. Bookey walked two and struck out one.
THUNDERBIRDS 10, TWINS 7
East 202 202 020 -- 10 11 1
Post 20 300 020 002 -- 7 9 2
Babcock, Madden (6), Jones (9) and Hadley; Gardner, Bookey (4) and J. Newby. W -- Babcock. L -- Gardner. 2B -- East, Wylie, Madden; Twins, Sparks, Zobeck, Christensen. HR -- East, Madden; Twins, J. Newby.
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