Legion Twins bow out of Utah tourney

It appears the glass slipper broke.

After an inspiring run through the Alaska State Legion baseball tournament a week prior, the American Legion Twins of ran out of magic at the Northwest Class A Regional tournament in Logan, Utah. Post 20 was forced to dig out from the losers’ bracket of a double-elimination tournament once again after a 14-4 loss Friday to the Cody Cubs of Wyoming.

On Saturday morning, the Twins blew a 5-1 lead to lose 7-5 to the Fremont Silverwolves of Utah, ending their season.

Post 20 ended its season with a 23-13 overall record. Coach Robb Quelland said the very fact that the local nine got themselves to an Outside tournament is indicative of the kind of potential and grit the team has.

“The boys and I talked this afternoon, and bottom line was very few of us thought we’d be in Utah this year, or playing in August at all,” Quelland said.

Quelland quickly praised the pitching efforts of Kyle Johnson, who was feeling quite sick Friday, along with several other team members, but still managed to work through six innings Saturday with only one run on 10 hits.

“He came out each inning, and he was just pale,” Quelland said. “It was just a gutsy performance from the young man.”

Matthew Daugherty came in as a relief pitcher for Johnson, but only recorded one out before being pulled, giving up four runs on one hit and three walks. Calvin Hills went the rest of the way, giving up a run on two hits and three walks.

The game, which was scheduled for 9:30 a.m., was delayed further to 11 a.m. Once things got rolling, the Twins got on the board quickly with two runs in the first inning, then proceeded to score a run apiece in the second, third and fourth frames, building up leads of 4-0 and 5-1.

However, three errors at the top of the seventh inning cost the Twins dearly, as the Silverwolves piled on five runs to take a 6-5 lead. Fremont added an insurance run in the ninth to seal the win.

Quelland said Friday that the Twins have been a team that performs better when ahead, but both games in Utah were lost when they were ahead.

“It was just one bad inning,” he said. “We played I thought one of our best games of the season, except for that inning. Every kid played to their ability, and they did everything that I asked them to.”

Overall, the Twins knocked out 17 hits compared to 13 by Utah, but left a whopping 15 runners on base.

Josh Darrow had an explosive day at the plate, hitting 5 for 6, including a double and one run. Kenny Griffin went 3 for 4 with two RBI, while JJ Sonnen, Justice Miller, Cody Quelland and Tyler Covey all knocked out two hits apiece, with doubles from Miller and Quelland.

In Friday’s game, Wyoming’s strong hitting was led by Cameron Wright, who went 4 for 5, and Cap McClure, who knocked out a grand slam as his only hit of the day.

The Twins scored three runs in the top of the second inning to take a 3-1 lead, but Wyoming responded in emphatic fashion by plating four runs in the bottom of the frame and five more in the bottom of the third to lead 10-3.

“I thought we came out strong, we felt like we were gonna have a good game,” Quelland said. “After we went up, we just didn’t hit anymore.”

Post 20 scored once in the top of the fourth, but the Cubs answered again with a run in the bottom of the fourth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh to seal the win.

Wyoming belted out 15 hits, while the Twins had seven. The Twins also left 11 runners on base.

“It was just uncharacteristic of us,” Quelland said, adding that the team suffered from three errors. “We’re playing a bit at altitude and the travel was a hard time, but there’s no excuses. We didn’t play our best game.”

Darrow and Griffin both hit 2 for 3 to lead the Twins at the plate, while Darrow, Calvin Hills, Sonnen and Covey all scored a run apiece.

Joey Becher started for the Twins on the mound, but lasted four innings after giving up 11 runs (eight earned) on nine hits, while walking seven with two strikeouts. Matthew Daugherty tossed 2 1-3 innings in relief before the 10-hit rule was enacted by Wyoming. Daugherty gave up three runs on six hits, four walks and struck out two.

The Twins will not be leaving Utah until Tuesday, which will give the team time to watch the other games and other experienced squads.

“Here we are, only losing tentatively one player from this team,” Quelland said optimistically. “Coach Lance (Coz) and I will sit down this offseason and look at where we will build on from here.”

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