The American Legion Twins downed Service 17-1 on Wednesday at the American Legion Alaska State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.
The Twins, the No. 2 seed, are now just one of two remaining undefeated teams at the tournament and will face Wasilla at 5:30 p.m. at Mulcahy Stadium today. Wasilla, the No. 5 seed, knocked off top-seeded Juneau 5-3 on Wednesday.
The Twins are 2-0 against Wasilla this season.
By improving to 2-0 this season against sixth-seeded Service, the Twins moved to 30-7 overall.
The game against Service was close for three innings before the Twins ran away after figuring out Service pitcher Nick Hall.
“The kid threw hard and it was the first hard pitcher we had seen in a week,” Twins head coach Robb Quelland said. “Once we figured him out we got to him, and their relievers were less than efficient.”
Service actually led 1-0 heading into the bottom of the third inning, but the Twins scored two in the third, seven in the fourth, three in the fifth and five in the sixth before the mercy rule was invoked.
The highlight of the game was an inside-the-park grand slam by Paul Steffensen in the bottom of the sixth.
Quelland said Service’s outfielders were playing shallow, and Steffensen drove the ball deep to the left-center gap. The play at the plate was not close.
“He was trucking from the moment he left the box,” Quelland said. “There was no stopping him.”
Matthew Daugherty was in control for the Twins on the mound, picking up the win by going five innings and giving up three hits and one earned run. Daugherty walked three and struck out two.
JJ Sonnen finished up for the Twins, giving up one hit and no runs in two innings.
“We right on track with our pitching,” Quelland said.
The top two in the Twins lineup — Josh Darrow and Steffensen — have put up gaudy numbers all season and Wednesday was no different.
Darrow was 2 for 4 with three runs and three RBIs, while Steffensen was 3 for 4 with a run and seven RBIs.
Mason Prior also had a big day, going 2 for 3 with four runs, while Terrence Slats was 1 for 2 with two runs and two RBIs.
Justice Miller and Cody Quelland each had a pair of runs.
“All the kids on this team are good,” Quelland said. “There’s not a kid on the team that does not deserve to be here.
“Each kid is capable and deserving of playing every inning of every game.”
Hall took the loss for Service, going 3 1-3 and giving up eight runs — six earned — on six hits.