The American Legion Twins lost 7-6 to Fairbanks on Sunday in league play at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.
The game was part of the Alaska 529 Midseason Classic, during which all 15 Legion teams played a game at Mulcahy Stadium from Thursday through Sunday.
The Twins are now 2-5 in the league and 3-8 overall, while Fairbanks is 4-4 and 6-6. The local nine is tied for sixth place in the National Division with Wasilla. The top four teams in each division, plus those with the next best two records, make the Legion state tournament.
Twins head coach Robb Quelland said the team is ready to make a run to get to state.
“We’re finally starting to click,” Quelland said. “We’re still moving a few pieces around, but overall we’re playing really well.”
Saturday, the Twins had defeated Ketchikan 9-2 before dropping a 9-8 contest. Quelland said the close losses to Ketchikan and Fairbanks hurt.
“It’s painful to see them work so hard for 14 innings and not have anything to show for it other than experience,” Quelland said.
Quelland said there is a lot of parity in the league this season. He added if his team could get a little more hitting, that would make the difference.
The Twins fell in a 5-1 hole after two innings Saturday, but then starter Atticus Gibson pitched shutout baseball from the third through sixth innings to allow the Twins to mount a comeback.
The local nine cut the gap to 5-2 in the third and 5-4 in the fourth inning before pulling ahead with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh.
Fairbanks responded by loading the bases and winning the game when Fletcher Burnett lined a two run-single to left field.
Gibson went six innings, allowing seven runs — five earned — on 11 hits while striking out one and walking three. Andrew Pieh did not record an out while giving up one hit in relief.
Harrison Metz finished 2 for 5 with two RBIs, while Sammy Berry was 2 for 4. Daltyn Deborski, Gibson and Andrew Pieh also recorded hits for the Twins, while Colby Sturman and Nick Wehrstein each scored a pair of runs.
Quelland also gave credit to Jacob Belger at catcher. The coach said Belger is controlling the others teams’ running games and also allowing few passed balls. Quelland said Belger also is starting to call more pitches himself.
Thursday, the Twins host Service at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai. The league game starts at 12:30 p.m., while the nonleague game will follow at about 3 p.m.