Twins earn No. 2 seed at state tourney

  • By Staff Report
  • Saturday, July 23, 2016 1:02am
  • Sports

The American Legion Twins lost to South 7-5 on Friday before defeating Dimond 6-4 on Saturday to finish the regular season at 16-2 in the league and 28-7 overall.

That mark gives the Twins the second seed in the 2016 American Legion Alaska State Tournament, which begins Tuesday at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

The Twins start the tournament against Dimond, the No. 7 seed, with a noon game. The Twins have defeated Dimond in all three contests this season, but never by more than two runs.

With a road trip that included a victory over Wasilla on Thursday complete, Twins coach Robb Quelland said his team is ready for state.

“Anytime you go against three of the toughest teams in the state of Alaska, it’s pretty impressive if you can get two of three,” Quelland said. “Every one of those teams was jockeying for state seeding.”

Against Dimond, Matthew Daugherty went 5 2-3 innings, giving up three hits and two earned runs while walking five.

Gavin Petterson pitched the last 1 1-3 innings for the win, yielding one run on four hits.

“We didn’t do any damage to our pitching staff with this road trip,” Quelland said. “Nobody went long. They are all fresh for a five-day tournament.”

Quelland said the pitchers were helped by a couple of incredible plays by Paul Steffensen in the outfield, and said Cody Quelland was solid behind the plate.

Josh Darrow led the way at the plate, hitting a pair of towering triples on the way to a 3-for-4 day with two RBIs.

The game was tied at 4 after six innings before the Twins struck twice in the top of the seventh for the victory.

On Friday, South handed the Twins a loss for the third time in the four meetings of the clubs this season.

“We came out real sloppy,” Quelland said. “We came off a huge win against Wasilla and I think it took our energy.”

The game was also played in a steady rain, but since it was on turf, the game continued.

The Twins took a 2-0 lead in the third inning, but South got to Twins starter Tyler Covey for five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Quelland said walks and errors led to the runs.

The Twins came back with three runs to tie the game after the top of the fourth inning, but reliever Calvin Hills gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of five.

Darrow was 2 for 3 with two runs for the Twins, while Steffensen was 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI. Joey Becher added a pair of RBIs.

The Twins will head up to the banquet Monday before playing Tuesday.

“A couple of the kids have flulike symptoms and we’re hoping to get them back on their feet after a long season,” Quelland said. “We’ve got some bumps and bruises, but we’ll be ready to go Sunday morning.”

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