The Twins lost 16-2, in a game shortened to seven innings by the mercy rule, to the Kennewick (Washington) Outlaws on Wednesday at the opening day of The American Legion Northwest Regional Tournament in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
The Twins play the loser of the game between the Cheyenne Post 6 Sixers and Boise (Idaho) Capitals today at 10:30 a.m. ADT in a loser-out game.
Cheyenne and Boise, both state champions, had their game postponed Wednesday by rain. Boise was leading 6-3 in the top of the sixth inning. That game will be completed at 6 a.m. ADT today.
No matter who the Twins (32-9 overall) play, they will have to play better than they did against the Washington state champs.
The Twins made seven errors, leaving them no chance of winning the game.
“We came out lethargic,” Twins coach Robb Quelland said. “I’ve never seen us play this poorly defensively.
“It was a good game until the third inning, when the wheels came off.”
The Twins face a number of challenges. The travel to Wyoming. The temperatures in the 90s. The elevation of 6,063 feet.
But Quelland wasn’t about to make excuses. He just said the competition is very mature and experienced, and the Twins must play clean to beat that competition.
“You can’t give them anything,” Quelland said. “We saw how fast they were.
“They hit home runs. They hit it to the fence. They’re powerful young men. But before the mistakes, we were still in it.”
Kennewick led 5-0 after three, 8-0 after four and 13-1 after five.
Despite that, Quelland said the highlight of the game was the way Twins starter Joey Becher hung in there on the mound.
“Joey Becher pitched his heart out,” Quelland said. “Others were complimenting him and the way he kept hitting his mark.
“The defense just let him down.”
Becher went four innings, giving up 11 runs (five earned) on seven hits.
Justice Miller pitched an inning in relief and gave up two runs on four hits, while JJ Sonnen pitched two innings and gave up three runs (one earned) on three hits.
The Twins got their runs in the fifth and eighth, getting six hits in the game.
Josh Darrow and Paul Steffensen each had a hit and a run, while Cody Quelland had a hit and an RBI.
Calvin Hills added an RBI, while Kenny Griffin, Becher and Sonnen added hits.
Quelland said the team is still motivated to become the first Twins team to win a game at a postseason, end-of-season tournament.
“We’re going to regroup for tomorrow,” Quelland said. “We still have strong pitching.”