Post 20 Twins catcher Jayden Stuyvesant congratulates Malakai Olson on the game-winning hit Saturday, July 6, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Post 20 Twins catcher Jayden Stuyvesant congratulates Malakai Olson on the game-winning hit Saturday, July 6, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Saturday: Twins walk off on Chugiak in extra innings

The American Legion Post 20 Twins defeated Post 33 Chugiak 3-2 in eight innings Saturday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

Although rain was forecasted to stop as the game started, it persisted and whipped around in a mid-50s wind until the seventh inning. The wet field resulted in the second half of the doubleheader being canceled.

“With the inclement weather, it was a little hard to make sure we got the game in,” Twins coach Robb Quelland said. “No one had the advantage due to the weather.

“It was pretty miserable for everyone.”

The Twins and Chugiak are two of the best teams in the state. Chugiak is second in the league at 7-2 and 12-7 overall, while the Twins are fourth at 5-3 and 11-8.

Post 20 had just defeated Chugiak 3-1 on June 28 in the Alaska 529 Midseason Classic.

Saturday, two of the best pitchers in the state started the game — Trenton Ohnemus for the Twins and Jayden Steckel for the Mustangs.

Chugiak head coach John Sims said the only bummer was the weather.

“The two pitchers today showed a lot of mental toughness,” he said. “It was not good pitching conditions, and they both did fantastic.”

Ohnemus went 6 1-3 innings, giving up two unearned runs on seven hits while walking five and striking out seven.

The Mustangs put pressure on Ohnemus the entire game, getting runners in scoring position in each inning against him.

Even in the poor conditions, though, Ohnemus made the big pitches when he had to.

“It was good to see baseball,” Quelland said. “There were a lot of runners on, good defense and the pitchers worked around bases loaded on both sides.

“That’s good baseball at this level.”

The Twins committed two errors in the game, while Chugiak had just one. Quelland also commended catchers Sampson Young of the Mustangs and Jayden Stuyvesant for the Twins for not letting passed balls and wild pitches pile up on a day when pitchers didn’t always have the best grip.

The Mustangs took a 2-0 lead in the second, when Ohnemus led off the inning by walking Owen Dockstader and Michael Boudreau.

The pitcher looked poised to get out of it by striking out the next two batters, but an error allowed both runners to score.

Steckel went seven innings and gave up two runs — one earned — on five hits. He walked one and struck out three.

The Twins got to Steckel for a pair of runs in the fifth.

Gabe Joanis started the inning with an infield single, then Matthew Schilling was hit by a pitch with one down.

Andrew Pieh singled to load the bases with two outs.

Gabe Smith was hit by a pitch to force in one run, while the next run scored on an error.

The game came down to relief pitchers. Ohnemus left in the seventh with runners on first and second with one out, but Andrew Pieh came on and promptly drew a double-play grounder to second.

Pieh then got through the eighth while allowing just one hit.

Steckel made it through seven innings.

Gabe Gruszynski came on in the eighth and gave up a single to Hunter Williams, who was 3 for 4, before walking Jacob Joanis. Gruszynski was 3-0 on Gabe Joanis before Fischer Sims came in and finished that walk to load the bases.

Malakai Olson ended the game by singling down the third-base line through a drawn-in infield to score Williams. Both Olson and Williams are from Kodiak, somewhat appropriate on this day featuring weather for which The Rock is known.

“Both teams are starting to play a lot better,” Quelland said. “We’ve talked time and time again that it takes about a month for us to get our footing.

“Well, it seems like we have our footing.”

The only hope is that if these two teams meet at the state tournament, it’s under better weather conditions.

“Those two guys that were on the bump are two of the best pitchers in the state,” Sims said. “I’d love to see that same game without the slippery conditions.”

Tyler Cage was 2 for 3 for the Mustangs, while Gruszynski was 2 for 4.

Post 20 plays its last games of the season at Seymour Park with a 12:30 p.m. Sunday doubleheader against Bartlett.

Post 20 Twins starter Trenton Ohnemus delivers to Chugiak on Saturday, July 6, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Post 20 Twins starter Trenton Ohnemus delivers to Chugiak on Saturday, July 6, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Post 20 Twins coach Robb Quelland works the field between innings Saturday, July 6, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Post 20 Twins coach Robb Quelland works the field between innings Saturday, July 6, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Post 20 Twins third baseman Gabe Smith explores the puddle at his position Saturday, July 6, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Post 20 Twins third baseman Gabe Smith explores the puddle at his position Saturday, July 6, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Post 33 Chugiak starter Jayden Steckel delivers to the Post 20 Twins on Saturday, July 6, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Post 33 Chugiak starter Jayden Steckel delivers to the Post 20 Twins on Saturday, July 6, 2024, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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