The American Legion Twins baseball team suffered a setback in its state tournament opener Saturday, dropping a 9-1 decision to East Anchorage at Mulcahy Stadium.
The loss puts the Twins into the losers' bracket of the double-elimination tournament where they will face the Fairbanks Tri-Cities 49ers, 8-1 losers to Chugiak, today at noon.
East starting pitcher Anton Maxwell was overwhelming, no-hitting the Twins through six innings of play.
East was up 9-0 after six innings. Under the tournament rules, the Twins needed to cut the deficit to less than seven runs to extend the game to the full nine innings.
East brought on reliever Wade Zelazny, who gave up a pair of hits. The Thunderbirds then went to Corey Madden, who gave up an infield single to load the bases, but proceeded to strike out the next three batters to end the game.
The Twins did manage to pick up one run on a passed ball.
Twins manager Lance Coz said starting pitcher Erich Simpson acquitted himself well under tough circumstances.
He did a pretty good job," Coz said. "It's just that when you're pitching against a hard-hitting team like East, you can't make a mistake."
Coz said the squad would be ready to face Fairbanks today.
"There was a letdown they wanted to play better," Coz said, "but they've already shook it off. They realize they need to get a good night's sleep and come back tomorrow and start eliminating people and having some fun."
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