Usually, what comes around goes around. In the case of the American Legion Post 33 Chugiak Mustangs, what comes around goes not around, but through, legs.
Last season, the Mustangs were on the verge of defeating Dimond for the American Legion state championship when a crucial out went through their second baseman's legs and allowed the Lynx to make off with the state hardware.
Fast forward to Sunday's first-round game against the Post 20 Peninsula Twins at the Alaska State American Legion Baseball Tournament in Anchorage. Chugiak and the Twins were tied at 4 in the top of the ninth when a routine, two-out ground ball went through the legs of the Post 20 second baseman and allowed the winning run to score.
"When that happened to Chugiak's all-district second baseman in the championship game last year, you could just feel jaws drop," Twins manager Lance Coz said after his team absorbed the tough 5-4 loss Sunday. "They can relate to how we feel."
The Twins came back looking for the tying run in the bottom of the ninth when J.D. Pault singled with one out. Adrian Borchgrevink came on to run for Pault and immediately stole second base. However, the Twins failed in their attempts to get Borchgrevink any further than that.
The ninth inning provided an exciting end to what had been a pitcher's dual between Twins starter Danny Bookey and Mustangs starter Bobby Remy, a 17-year-old who was hitting 86 mph Sunday.
The Twins drew first blood in the game, striking for four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Cory Janson had a two-RBI single and scored a run in the rally.
Chugiak came back to make it 4-1 in the seventh inning before a hit batsman, three hits and two errors did in the Twins in the ninth inning.
"It was a pretty good pitcher's dual," Coz said. "They lost their focus a little bit in the fifth inning, and unfortunately we lost our focus in the top of the ninth. It was bad timing, and they took advantage of it."
Eric Newby and Aaron Hughes paced the Twins on offense with two hits apiece.
Post 20 is now just one loss from being eliminated from the tournament. The Twins will put Brad Burck on the hill today at noon and face Wasilla, which dropped a 9-2 contest to East Sunday.
"Everybody was disappointed after the ballgame, but I told them the loss was something we have to shoulder as a team," Coz said. "There were little things that everybody was involved in that could have changed the outcome of the game.
"We have to get focused and we could actually have some fun. Every ballgame we play now, we have a chance at sending somebody home."
In other action Sunday, Juneau defeated Service 14-4 on the mercy rule and Bartlett topped Fairbanks 4-3.
MUSTANGS 5, TWINS 4
Chugiak Post 33 000 001 004 -- 5 11 2
Peninsula Post 20 000 040 000 -- 4 9 3
Remy and Rivera; Bookey, Hughes (9) and Payment. W -- Remy. L -- Hughes. 2B -- Chugiak: Rivera. LOB -- Chugiak 11, Peninsula 6.
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