The Post 20 Twins blew out Dimond 11-0 Saturday to stay alive at the American Legion state tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.
The Twins had lost their opening game of the tournament Friday to South 8-5, meaning every game for the Twins is now an elimination game.
Post 20, the No. 4 seed, now plays Juneau, the No. 2 seed, at 3 p.m. today. Juneau lost 13-5 to No. 3 Chugiak on Saturday. The Twins and Juneau have not played against each other this season.
The Twins are in good shape for today’s game thanks to a remarkably efficient dismantling of Dimond, the No. 8 seed.
Starter Mose Hayes and reliever Chris Jaime combined to shut out Dimond on just two hits and 44 pitches.
Head coach Robb Quelland said the only pitcher he does not have available headed in to today is Logan Smith, who got the start Friday against South.
“Forty-four pitches is unheard of at this level of play,” Quelland said.
The Twins quickly took control of the game by scoring two runs in the first inning and seven in the second inning. Thanks to two more in the fourth inning, the Twins were able to invoke the mercy rule after Dimond batted in the top of the fifth.
“This is a great group of young men,” Quelland said. “They’re resilient. They owned their own faults yesterday and knew what they needed to do today to come out and stay in the tournament.”
Jeremy Kupferschmid got the Twins going from his leadoff slot, finishing 3 for 4 with two runs. Quelland said Kupferschmid has been playing well lately after fatigue caught up to him late in the season.
“He’s been trying to get his game back in shape the last couple of weeks,” Quelland said of Kupferschmid. “He’s refocused this week with a great game yesterday, today and I’m sure he’ll be ready for tomorrow.”
Hayes pitched two innings and allowed just a hit while striking out two. At the plate, he was 3 for 4 with a run and an RBI. Jaime went three innings and gave up just one hit.
Davey Belger was 2 for 2 with a run, while David Michael, Smith and Jaime also added hits. Seth Adkins had two runs.
“This team has blended well,” Quelland said. “They’re playing well together. They like each other and energy is high. I think we’ll do well tomorrow.”
Post 20 had defeated South, the No. 5 seed, twice in league play, but Reid Brock helped turn the tables Friday.
Brock pitched 5 2-3 innings of scoreless relief and also had two RBIs at the plate.
Scoring in the game started quick as the Twins jumped all over South starter Jimmy Mcgovern, getting to him for five runs on three hits in 1 1-3 innings.
However, South also had success against Twins starter Logan Smith and grabbed a 6-5 lead after the top of the third.
Smith worked three innings and gave up six runs — just two earned — on three hits while walking three and striking out two.
“It was one of those games where we did not come out and play well,” Quelland said.
South was then able to get to Twins reliever Harrison Metz for two insurance runs — just one earned — in two innings of work. Harold Ochea then shut South down over the final two innings.
Metz was 2 for 4 with three RBIs for the Twins, while Smith was 2 for 3 with two RBIs. Hayes also collected two hits for the Twins.
For South, Ricky Gatter was 2 for 4 with two runs, while Josh Costello scored three times.