The Post 20 Twins, the defending state champions, opened the season by sweeping the Fairbanks Post 30 Wild on Saturday in Anchorage.
Both games counted for the league standings. The Twins won the nine-inning game 14-10 and invoked the mercy rule in the seven-inning contest, winning 11-0 in five innings.
In the first game, Post 20 jumped to a 4-0 lead after two innings, but the Wild jumped on top with seven runs in the bottom of the third.
The Twins came back with three runs in the fourth, but the Wild tacked on a run in the bottom of the inning for an 8-7 lead. Post 20 tied the game at 8 in the sixth, but the Wild went up again 10-8 after six. But Post 20 came though with six runs in the eighth to win.
“It was nice to see them come together as a team,” Twins coach Robb Quelland said. “They could have called it in when they were down a few runs, but the maturity of a couple of our guys kept them together.”
Post 20 banged out 12 hits on the day, with Paul Steffensen going 2 for 3 with three runs, Cody Quelland going 2 for 5 with three runs and three RBIs, Kenny Griffin going 2 for 4 with three RBIs, Calvin Hills going 2 for 3, Seth Adkins going 2 for 4, and Logan Smith and Mose Hayes each scoring a pair of runs.
“We left too many runners on base and had too many strikeouts, but it was not bad for the first game on the field together as a group,” said Quelland, adding there were three players on the field that hadn’t been to any practices.
Adam Brinster got the start, going 2 1-3 innings and giving up six earned runs on five hits while walking five and whiffing five. Quelland said Brinster was coming off an injury and hadn’t pitched in over a month.
Hayes got the win in relief, pitching 4 2-3 innings and giving up four runs — two earned — on six hits while walking three and striking out three.
Calvin Hills pitched two scoreless innings for the save.
The second game belonged to Jeremy Kupferschmid, who obviously didn’t show the effects of a week of workouts at the Andy Liebner Cross-Country Ski Camp.
Kupferschmid pitched all five innings, giving up two hits and no runs while striking out three and issuing no walks.
“I knew what he was,” said Quelland, who coached Kupferschmid at Soldotna High School this season but didn’t have the opportunity to give him a lot of innings. “I had no problem going to him as a starter as this level.”
Hills led the Twins at the plate by going 2 for 2 with three runs. Griffin and Austin Adlam each had two runs.
The Twins stay in Anchorage for a 9:30 a.m. doubleheader against Fairbanks 11 today. Both games will be league games.