Members of the Legion Twins work to dry the infield after a brief shower Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Members of the Legion Twins work to dry the infield after a brief shower Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Hayes dodges rain, runs to help Twins beat Palmer

Barely eight minutes after first pitch, the Legion Twins and Palmer Moose were running for cover from a passing shower that soaked Coral Seymour Memorial Park. The rain left about as quickly as it had arrived.

The only thing quicker? Mose Hayes on the mound.

Hayes tossed a complete game for the Twins, giving up a single run over seven innings to help Post 20 defeat Palmer 4-1. The Twins capped the day with a 6-5 walk-off victory in the non league game, thanks to a pinch-hit, game-winning single by David Michael.

The doubleheader sweep helped the Twins to their sixth win in eight games and an 11-3 league record, 18-9-1 overall.

More importantly, the team clinched a spot at the state tournament, although their seeding is still to be decided. The Twins currently sit second in the American Division standings, only behind South Post 4 (12-4 league), with a Friday game against Service, two Saturday games against Ketchikan and a Sunday game against South still to be played.

The good times have left the team laser-focused for the next five days, according to Twins head coach Robb Quelland.

“It’s the old cliche. We’re looking at Service now,” he said. “We’ll let the standings go, we’ve got some big games coming up this week.”

Not to be outdone, Hayes was matched by a complete game performance by Palmer starter Ben Alley, as the two staged a rare duel to keep the bullpens out of the game. Alley gave up four runs on five hits and six walks, whiffing three over six innings.

Quelland said the Twins took a cautious approach in using Hayes in the first month of the Legion season, resting him to preserve his arm for a stretch run into the state tournament, which will be played July 26 through 30 in Anchorage.

“We just paced him, and I believe our plan worked well, with how strong he is now,” Quelland said. “It’s paying dividends towards the end of the season by not running him so many innings early.”

Hayes got through the entire game in an efficient 85 pitches, using a combo of his fastball and curve to finish the game in under two hours of playing time.

“It’s just not having to worry about getting a lot of strikeouts,” Hayes said. “Letting the defense do the work.”

Hayes said he struggled with his changeup early on, but after giving up a run in the third inning, a slew of groundouts and fly balls helped him cruise through the last four frames.

Hayes said working with catcher Seth Adkins, a Homer High School teammate of his, also helps to give him a comfortable feeling on the mound.

“We have a good dynamic,” Hayes said. “He steals me a lot of strikes, for sure.”

Ominous clouds approached the park as game time approached at 1 p.m., and with just two outs in the bottom of the first, the rain strengthened and the officials stopped the game.

It was more than 20 minutes before the teams took the field again and proceeded to dry up the infield. The two pitchers appeared hardly fazed.

“Everyone was still fresh,” Quelland said. “(Hayes) got a light bullpen session to go back out, and (Palmer) were ready too.”

The Twins got an early boost on offense, scoring all four runs in the first inning. With raindrops beginning to fall, the Twins loaded the bases with one out and Harrison Metz answered the bell with a two-run single to stake out a lead.

Tanner Ussing followed next with a two-run single of his own, and it was immediately after that that the game was delayed.

The Twins loaded the bases in the bottom of the second as well, but couldn’t come through as Adkins popped up in foul territory and Metz grounded out.

Luke Guggenmos provided Palmer its lone run of the day by grounding out in a bases-loaded situation with one out. Hayes limited the damaged by inducing a fly out to Zach Satterly to end the frame.

Twins pitcher Mose Hayes unwinds for a pitch Tuesday, July 16, 2019, against the Palmer Moose at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Twins pitcher Mose Hayes unwinds for a pitch Tuesday, July 16, 2019, against the Palmer Moose at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Palmer pitcher Ben Alley (right) fields a grounder by the Twins’ Jeremy Kupferschmid Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Palmer pitcher Ben Alley (right) fields a grounder by the Twins’ Jeremy Kupferschmid Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

The Legion Twins and Palmer Moose resume play after a passing shower soaked the field Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

The Legion Twins and Palmer Moose resume play after a passing shower soaked the field Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

More in Sports

tease
Kenai, SoHi, Homer girls; SoHi boys advance to DII state soccer semis

The Soldotna boys and SoHi, Kenai Central and Homer girls all advanced… Continue reading

tease
Kenai, Soldotna baseball advance to NLC semis

The Kenai Central and Soldotna baseball teams advanced to the semifinals of… Continue reading

tease
Soldotna girls, boys, Homer girls nab region track and field titles

The Soldotna girls and boys, and Homer girls, won Region 3 track… Continue reading

Soldotna's Andrew Arthur celebrates his goal with Lane Hillyer (17) and Gehret Medcoff (5) on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at the Peninsula Conference tournament at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai girls, Soldotna boys nab Peninsula Conference soccer crowns

The Kenai Central girls and Soldotna boys soccer teams won Peninsula Conference… Continue reading

tease
Saturday baseball: Kenai, SoHi, Homer all win on road

The visiting Kenai Central baseball team defeated Redington 18-0 in five innings… Continue reading

tease
Saturday softball: Soldotna, Kenai collect wins on road

The Soldotna softball team moved to 10-2 in the Northern Lights Conference… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Kainoa Taylor (8) celebrates his game-winning goal in the penalty kick shootout against Homer on Friday, May 17, 2024, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Friday soccer: Kenai, SoHi girls, boys to play for Peninsula Conference titles

The Kenai and Soldotna girls and boys soccer teams advanced to the… Continue reading

Most Read