Tommy Bowe brought the muscle, and Joey Becher provided the speed in the Post 20 Twins season opener.
The Twins opened their 2015 Legion AA season in fine fashion Tuesday afternoon at the Kenai Little League fields with a 12-2 rout of Eagle River, then finished up the day a 16-12 nonleague win to earn the doubleheader sweep.
With an overcast sky spitting rain and a brisk breeze to play with, Bowe crushed a home run off a fastball from Eagle River pitcher Lauren Frost in the top of the third inning to spark a 10-run inning for the Twins in the first game.
“Everyone tries to load up big,” Bowe said about finding the big hits. “I just try to swing nice and easy, let the bat do the work.”
Overall, the Twins brought 15 batters to the plate in the third inning, which began with Post 20 holding a 2-0 lead but ended with the home team holding a daunting 12-0 advantage. Calvin Hills and Kenny Griffin (complete with a flowing mane of golden locks) led off with a pair of walks, which set up Bowe for his homer. The ball landed behind the left center field wall and past the leaping glove of the left fielder.
Earlier in the day, Bowe had effectively called his homer, telling a few friends that he would be “swinging for the fences.”
“I’ve been feeling pretty good, feeling ready to play,” Bowe said. “I was feeling really confident hitting, even before I started.”
Tyler Covey and Justice Miller continued the inning with singles, which forced Eagle River coach Gregg Frost to bring in Mike Fitzgerald to throw. After a walk by Kyle Johnson loaded the bases, Michael Swoboda sent a ground-ball double up the middle that scored Covey and Miller to push the Twins lead to 7-0.
Mason Prior and Griffin brought in a run apiece with outfield singles, and Bowe had a RBI single in his second plate appearance of the inning on an error. Covey smacked a two-out double that bounced in and out of the center fielder’s glove that scored Griffin and Bowe, before Fitzgerald managed to get a putout at first base on Johnson to end the inning.
“They feed off of each other,” said Twins coach Hector Rivera. “Everyone was calm at the plate. They took their time, waited for a pitch, and finally got it.”
On the mound, Becher pitched a shutout, going four innings and giving up five hits, while walking one and striking out five. Klayton Justice cleaned up in the top of the fifth with two hits, no walks and one strikeout.
“We made one error, so our defense was good,” Rivera said. “Our hitting was OK, but I think their pitching wasn’t as strong.”
Becher also helped the Twins out of a jam at the top of the fourth, as he struck out the first two Wolves batters but walked one and gave up a pair of singles to Cody Keith and Brendan Miles, which loaded the bases. Aaron Davis grounded out to end the inning, keeping Eagle River scoreless.
Jared Froslie’s double in the fifth broke up the shutout, as his hit brought in Pete Kott, who got on base with a walk. Froslie then scored on a sacrifice fly by Josh Linn, but that would be all the runs Eagle River would score before Justice struck out Caleb Garcia to end the game.
In Tuesday’s second, nonleague game, Post 20 went through six pitchers — each throwing an inning — in order to get a jump-start on their upcoming weekend trip to Kodiak.
Kyle Johnson was credited for the win on the mound, while JJ Sonnen, Griffin, Covey, Bowe and Calvin Hills all got time as well.