The Post 20 Legion Twins opened their 2018 season with a spark Thursday afternoon at the Kenai Little League fields, splitting a doubleheader with the Bartlett Bears.
The Twins won the league game 9-3 and lost the nonleague contest 9-5.
In the league game, the Twins started hot with a four-run first inning, giving the local nine a comfortable victory to start the summer.
“We jumped right on them, and the bats came alive,” said head coach Robb Quelland. “Overall on day one, the top to bottom of our lineup did well.”
Andrew Carver, making an appearance as catcher, went 4 for 4 with an RBI, while leadoff man Paul Steffensen was 2 for 3 with two runs and Jeremy Kupferschmid and Adam Brinster both hit 2 for 4 with two RBIs each.
Logan Smith made the opening day start on the mound and lasted 2 2-3 hitless innings before being pulled with a 5-1 lead. Smith struck out three and walked two. Brinster and Austin Asp split the remaining frames in relief, giving up a combined two runs on three hits and two walks, while whiffing four.
Steffensen started the game with a leadoff walk and Kupferschmid followed with a single, setting the stage for a two-run double by Brinster to put Post 20 ahead. A sac fly by Smith and a single by Carver plated two more runs before the inning ended on a strikeout looking by Harold Ochea.
“The older guys led us today and some of our younger guys were a pleasant surprise,” Quelland said.
In the bottom of the second, Steffensen led off with a triple, then scored on an RBI groundout by Kupferschmid.
Bartlett finally got on the board in the third inning with a run scored by Ian Byrd on a passed ball, forcing a pitching change as Smith and first baseman Brinster exchanged roles.
A run-scoring infield single by Kupferschmid and a two-run single by Asp in the bottom of the third pushed the Twins lead to 8-1. Harrison Metz and Carver opened the third with consecutive singles, and Ochea moved the runners over with a sacrifice bunt, before Kupferschmid and Asp brought them home to score.