Following a trying season of change, the defending state legion baseball champion Post 20 Twins are done.
The Twins lost a sloppy 13-9 game to Dimond in Wednesday’s double-elimination bracket, committing eight errors en route to ending their season on the spot. The local nine finished 2017 with a total record of 17-15.
The Twins, which entered with the eighth and final seed, lost 14-0 to top-seeded Juneau on Tuesday, dropping them into Wednesday’s “last-chance” bracket, which sends one team to Saturday’s championship game against the winner from the championship bracket.
Wednesday against Dimond, the Twins trailed 6-1 after three innings, but posted late rallies by scoring three runs in the seventh and four in the eighth. The team ultimately came up short after Dimond answered with four runs in the bottom of the seventh and three in the eighth.
Twins starter Logan Smith lasted seven innings, giving up 10 runs (two earned) on six hits and four walks with one strikeout. Jeremy Kupferschmid and Paul Steffensen combined on one frame of relief, with Kupferschmid getting two outs and giving up three runs on three hits and two walks, and Steffensen notching the final strikeout of the eighth.
Overall, the Twins outhit the Lynx 12 to 9.
Paul Steffensen led the Twins offense, hitting 3 for 5 and scoring two runs, while Logan Smith was 3 for 3 with three RBIs.
McKenzie Montgomery proved the hardest Lynx batter for the Twins to contain, hitting 4 for 5 with three runs.
Montgomery led off the bottom of the second with a double, then scored on an error by Smith to give Dimond a 1-0 lead. A sac fly by Kaden Roettger doubled the lead to 2-0.
In the third, Conor Bates-Janigo singled in a run, and a throwing mistake by outfielder Spencer Warren allowed two more to score, pushing the lead to 5-0.
In the top of the seventh, Steffensen led off with a single, then stole second. The Kenai Central senior ended up scoring on a sacrifice bunt by Kupferschmid.
Porter Fannon then loaded the bases with a single, and Smith plated two runs on the next-bat by lining out a single, cutting Dimon’s lead to 6-5.
After Dimond opened the lead back out to 10-5, Post 20 came back again in the top of the eighth with four runs. In the leadoff role yet again, Steffensen took a walk, then stole second again before scoring on a single by Cody Quelland.
Seth Adkins hit a ground-rule double to score Quelland, Smith knocked into an RBI single, and Joe Ravin drew a bases-loaded walk to force in a run. Steffensen grounded out to end the rally, leaving Dimond’s lead at 10-9.