Kenai Twins shortstop Austin Asp attempts to relay a double play ball to first base while Chugiak’s D.J. Davis slides into second Wednesday afternoon at Coral Seymour Memorial Ballpark. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Twins shortstop Austin Asp attempts to relay a double play ball to first base while Chugiak’s D.J. Davis slides into second Wednesday afternoon at Coral Seymour Memorial Ballpark. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Twins battle back to sweep Mustangs

Five scoreless innings of crisp, defensive legion baseball eventually came to a head Wednesday afternoon at Coral Seymour Memorial Ballpark, and the drama didn’t disappoint.

The Post 20 Twins traded punches with the Post 33 Chugiak Mustangs in the sixth inning, scoring the gamewinning run on a successful rundown and steal of home to grab a 2-1 league victory.

The Twins also won the nonleague game 7-4 later in the day to take a doubleheader sweep over Chugiak, lifting the Twins to 4-0 in league play and 5-2 overall, while Chugiak dropped to 2-3 in the league and 3-6 overall.

Twins head coach Robb Quelland said his experienced hands helped the team when it counted most in a tight contest.

“When you get to that point (late in a game), someone’s going to blink,” Quelland said. “For us, it was a showcase of veteran leadership.”

Following six consecutive fly outs off Twins starting pitcher Adam Brinster, the Mustangs finally got a big hit in the top of the sixth when Trystan Costanios launched a solo home run past the left field wall, just inside the foul pole, to put Chugiak up 1-0. Costanios led the Mustangs with a 2-for-3 day.

The Twins were able to answer in the bottom half of the frame, starting with a crucial infield single by nine-hitter Harold Ochea, which set the stage for the top of the lineup to do something.

After a groundout by Jeremy Kupferschmid moved Ochea to second, Cody Quelland reached on a bunt single, and Steffensen chopped an infield grounder to shortstop that tied the game when Ochea beat the throw home.

With runners on the corners, the Twins set their plan in motion. Steffensen faked a steal to second and fell, and Chugiak catcher Costanios looked for the tag out, threw to first, only to have Quelland steal home on the play for the Twins 2-1 lead. Steffensen ultimately tagged back to first when Costanios hesitated.

“If I make it, I make it,” Steffensen said. “And it worked.”

After hitting 1 for 16 against Chugiak starter Sam Hall over the first five innings, Steffensen said the Twins batters were able to make the right adjustments against Hall when the sixth inning arrived.

“The third time through the order, we’re used to the pitcher, and once you get that third look, usually he’s tired,” Steffensen explained.

Hall finished a complete game for Chugiak but took the loss, giving up the two runs on four hits, while whiffing five on a tidy 83 pitches.

Brinster had a similarly effective day for the Twins, giving up three hits and three walks and the one homer, while getting five strikeouts over the 100-pitch outing.

Austin Asp earned the save with a one-hit, one-walk inning for Post 20, and ended the game on a groundout to Chugiak’s two-hitter Austin Bull with two runners on.

At the plate, Quelland, Steffensen, Brinster and Ochea each tallied a base hit for the Twins.

The first five innings were a clinic on clean defense and stout pitching for both teams. Quelland said that can typically be a recipe for a dull game, but it also provided a setup for the late drama.

“Usually at this level, we see a lot of poor plays, sloppy fielding, you’re almost bored with great pitching,” Quelland said. “But the battery for both teams was phenomenal.”

Hall and Constanios held things down as Chugiak’s battery while Brinster and catcher Cody Quelland worked for the Twins.

Twins infielder David Michael finished the day with six made outs — five from second base and one from shortstop — and outfielders Ochea and Jeremy Kupferschmid both had impressive fly out catches throughout the day.

Chugiak threatened in the top of the fourth by loading the bases with two outs, but a weak pop out by Bryce Collins to the pitcher ended the inning.

Brinster had gotten six straight Mustangs batters to fly out, including the first two in the sixth inning, when Constanios finally stepped up and connected hard enough to send the ball over the left field wall.

In the nonleague contest, Asp and Andrew Carver both hit 2 for 4 to lead the Twins, and Ochea knocked a two-run double.

Harrison Metz earned the win on the mound by giving up one run in four innings, allowing five hits and one walk and striking out three. Davey Belger, Austin Ceccarelli and Cody Quelland combined to give up one earned run in relief.

Post 20 scored three runs in the bottom of the third to take a 5-1 lead, then pushed it to 7-1 after four frames.

Kenai Twins first baseman Logan Smith catches a pickoff attempt from Twins pitcher Adam Brinster with Chugiak’s Austin Bull on the bases Wednesday afternoon at Coral Seymour Memorial Ballpark. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Twins first baseman Logan Smith catches a pickoff attempt from Twins pitcher Adam Brinster with Chugiak’s Austin Bull on the bases Wednesday afternoon at Coral Seymour Memorial Ballpark. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Twins starter Adam Brinster (left) unleashes a pitch Wednesday afternoon to a Chugiak batter at Coral Seymour Memorial Ballpark. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Twins starter Adam Brinster (left) unleashes a pitch Wednesday afternoon to a Chugiak batter at Coral Seymour Memorial Ballpark. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)

More in Sports

tease
Kards win Silver Bracket at Dimond-Service volleyball

Kenai Central won the Silver Bracket on Saturday at the Dimond-Service Volleyball… Continue reading

Soldotna's Hunter Richardson and Homer's Nestor Kalugin tangle at 189A at the Luke Spruill Memorial Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. Richardson won the match 11-1 on the way to first place, while Kalugin was third. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai’s Gaethle wins Spruill award

Kenai Central junior Andrew Gaethle won the Luke Spruill Outstanding Wrestler award,… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Caden Triggs (far left) celebrates his first-period goal with Tyler Pfister and Brendan Hill on Friday, Oct. 21, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Bears split Friday, Saturday games with Steel

For the second time all season, the Kenai River Brown Bears scored… Continue reading

Brown Bears forward Cole Dubicki and Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel forward Ethan Benz tangle for the puck Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears drop home opener to Steel

The Kenai River Brown Bears lost their home opener 6-2 to the… Continue reading

tease
Seward volleyball comes back to top Nikiski

The host Seward volleyball team pulled off a big comeback for a… Continue reading

A moose darts into the forest on Beaver Loop Road in Kenai, Alaska, during the Kenai River Marathon on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Refuge Notebook: Mating systems of moose and caribou

Driving home the other day, my friend and I came across a… Continue reading

Kenai Lake sparkles under the sun on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021 near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: To everything, there is a season

We don’t really have “seasons” where I’m from. It stays an amicable… Continue reading

tease
Costume Caper 5K draws 44 in Nikiski

The Nikiski Community Recreation Center held a 5K Costume Caper on Saturday,… Continue reading

tease
Brown Bears look to home cooking to spark season

The Kenai River Brown Bears will turn to home ice advantage to… Continue reading

Most Read