Only one week ago, Soldotna, Kenai Central and Kodiak were battling it out at the Division II state baseball tournament in Wasilla.
Saturday, the best players from those teams joined to defeat Dimond 3-0 at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
The Twins then lost the nonleague game 9-3. Dimond is 1-1 and 5-3.
Sunday at Seymour Park, Post 20 lost to South 2-1 in the league game and 20-11 in the nonleague game. At the high school level, South won the Division I state crown with a 26-0 record. In Legion play, South is now 2-0 and 7-0. The Twins are 3-1 and 4-3.
Post 20 coach Robb Quelland said the Twins are very fortunate to have the talent from three schools.
“We’re back to being very close to where we were three, four years ago, where all 16 kids were starters,” Quelland said. “We’re very fortunate in that when you ask someone on the bench to come in, you’re not worried about the result.”
Hunter Williams, who is an incoming senior at Kodiak, led the way for the Twins in the league victory by pitching a seven-inning shutout. He gave up seven hits while walking two and striking out five.
Williams played Legion ball for Kodiak in 2018 and 2019. He didn’t play in 2020 due to the pandemic, then played summer ball in Washington in 2021. He’s with the Twins this summer because Kodiak was not able to field a team.
Williams said it’s sad Kodiak doesn’t have a team, but added it’s nice to get to play with new players and coaches.
“We’re all growing together,” Williams said. “The trips are making us closer.”
The pitcher didn’t have any trouble relying on his teammates Saturday.
Charlie Chamberlain, who plays for Kenai Central, had several sparkling plays at third.
“He saved probably three runs for us today,” Quelland said of Chamberlain.
Jacob Belger, who plays for Soldotna, also did his usual solid job at catcher.
“We do commend him by saying we can’t pay him enough,” Quelland said of Belger.
The Twins were outhit 7-4 in the game, but managed to manufacture the winning rally with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. The only hit in the rally came on a bunt.
Williams started the rally by leading off with a walk and stealing second. Atticus Gibson then grounded to short. The Lynx tried to get Williams at third, but the throw was off, allowing Williams to score and Gibson to reach second.
“We went to the right base, we just didn’t execute in the end,” Dimond coach Jeremiah Eneix said. “You always know when you’re coming out to Kenai it’s going to be tough. It’s gonna be close.
“We played them close and in the end we just didn’t execute.”
Belger then bunted for a hit and moved Gibson to third. Gibson scored on a sac fly by Gabe Smith, then Belger would score on a ground-out by Levi Mickelson.
Quelland said his team is going to be aggressive on the basepaths, even if it results in a few outs. He said that will be particularly important while the players adjust to Legion pitching, which is better than the Division II high school level.
Dimond starter Jeremiah Eneix was definitely one of those pitchers to which the Twins must adjust. Eneix struck out 10 and walked one in six innings. He also was 2 for 3 at the plate.
In the nonleague loss, Andrew Pieh led the Twins at the plate by going 2 for 2.
On the mound for the Twins, Malakai Olson gave up four runs — two earned — in four innings, Gabe Smith gave up five runs in two innings and Belger pitched a scoreless inning.
Shane Stephan did the most damage for the Lynx, going 4 for 5 with two runs and an RBI.
Sunday’s league game saw Atticus Gibson, who was the winning pitcher in the Division II state title game for Soldotna, battle against the Division I champs.
Gibson was up to the task, going seven innings and giving up two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out four.
Post 20 got its run in the bottom of the second when Riley Johnson singled to score Simon Grenier. The Wolverines got their two runs in the top of the fourth.
In addition to Johnson, Andrew Pieh, Gibson, Belger and Daltyn Deborski all had hits for the Twins.
In the nonleague game, the Wolverines got their bats going against Twins pitchers Charlie Chamberlain, Johnny Brinner, Johnson and Grenier.
At the plate, Gavin Jones was 3 for 5, Nate Mowery scored a pair of runs, Gibson was 2 for 3 and Malakai Olson was 2 for 3 with three RBIs.