Steven Mabeus will look to start the American Legion Twins off on the right foot.
Mabeus will take the mound for the sixth-seeded Twins today as they open the American Legion Alaska state tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage with a 6 p.m. tilt with Dimond, a team they split the season series with this year, winning 3-2 at home and losing 5-3 in Anchorage.
The Twins finished the season with a 2-2 road trip, which came on the heels of an eight-day, 3-5 trip earlier in July.
"It wasn't a bad way to end up especially when we know we could have played better than what we did," Butler said of the end of the regular season. "We just can't make some silly mistakes and (we've) got to cut down on our errors."
The double elimination tournament is different than in years past, Butler said, as they used to play a pair of district tournaments with the top four teams in each advancing to state.
Now all 11 teams automatically qualify for the big dance, with the top three seeds — Chugiak, South and Fairbanks — receiving byes in the first round.
Butler doesn't seem to mind the new format.
"Other than Chugiak — (they're) the class, they're just a well-rounded team, they have very few weaknesses. Overall, the way the state came up with it this year having everyone play the same amount of games made it an enjoyable year this year," he explained. "Most of the teams are fairly well competitive. Everybody's beaten everybody."
The Twins lost both of their league games to Chugiak this season — although they did claim the non-league, seven inning affair — split a pair with South and went 0-2 in the league versus Fairbanks.
"We lost a couple games that normally we shouldn't have lost," he said.
Should Mabeus lead the Twins to a victory, they're second round opponent will be Fairbanks, which beat the Twins all four times they met this season, including a 10-0 romp in their final meeting.
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