Twins finish regular season with 1-2 road trip

The American Legion finished up their regular season on the road with a league victory Friday over Bartlett and a pair of league losses Saturday to Juneau.

The Twins finish 4-12 in the league and 7-18 overall. The Twins program, which started in 1975, missed the state tournament for the second time. The first time was in 1985.

The Twins still get to play in the Matson Invitational starting Thursday at Bartlett High School in Anchorage.

“It does really show the effort of previous players, not that these young men didn’t put in the effort,” said Twins head coach Robb Quelland of the program which has won four state titles. “They didn’t match up well with the talent and skills of other teams.”

Quelland said four teams in the Matson last season moved up to state this season. He said that shows how programs cycle through groups of kids and get better as those players age.

Quelland said the Twins have been at their best when the average age of the team is in the 18s, but this year it was probably in the 16s.

The team had three eighth-graders this year in Jayden Stuyvesant, Jace Appelhans and Colby Sturman. Saturday, Stuyvesant got his first hit with the Twins.

“They’re all working hard, getting playing time and impacting the program,” Quelland said. “The future is bright for them.”

Friday, the Twins beat Bartlett 14-2, invoking the mercy rule after the fifth inning.

Three pitchers were able to hold down the Bartlett offense. Atticus Gibson pitched two scoreless innings, while Sam Berry gave up two runs in an inning and Harrison Metz pitched two scoreless innings.

On offense, Metz was 2 for 3, while Daltyn Deborski and Jacob Belger had two runs and two RBIs. Berry added two RBIs, while Gibson had two runs, Levi Mickelson had two runs and Andrew Pieh had two RBIs. Also collecting hits were Gibson, Belger, Pieh and Owen Whicker.

Saturday, the Twins lost to Juneau 3-1 and 9-2.

In the first game, Juneau scored two runs in the first and one in the fifth to take a 3-0 lead. The Twins had their lone run in the seventh.

Gibson pitched six innings, allowing three runs — one earned — on five hits while striking out four and walking two.

On offense, Whicker had the run, Metz had the RBI and Deborski, Gibson and Stuyvesant had the hits.

In the second game, the Twins tied the game at 2 after the bottom of the fourth, but Juneau scored two in the sixth and five in the seventh to win.

Metz pitched 6 1-3, allowing nine runs — eight earned — on 11 hits. Appelhans and Pieh both did not allow runs in getting outs in relief.

Four Juneau pitchers combined to keep the Twins hitless. Talon Whicker and Pieh had the runs, while Pieh had an RBI.

At 11-5 and 17-5 overall, Juneau made state. Quelland said Saturday was typical — staying in the game with top teams but not pulling it out in the end.

“We played two very good games,” he said. “If we can carry that momentum, I see us having success at the Matson Tournament next week.”

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