Like any good nephew, Dimond pitcher Jake Andresen took good care of his uncle’s place.
Andresen, the nephew of John Kennedy, the groundskeeper at Coral Seymour Memorial Ballpark, gave up just one hit in defeating the Post 20 Twins on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader.
The Twins lost the league contest 5-1, but came back to win the nonleague game 8-2. The Twins are now 3-3 in the league and 4-4 overall, while Dimond is 3-3 in the league and 3-4 overall.
“He’s our ace,” Dimond coach Dan Montagna said of Andresen. “He has a pretty huge ceiling. He can pump it up to 87 or 88, although he didn’t throw that hard today.”
Andresen went 6 2-3 innings of the seven-inning game, giving up just one unearned run while walking four and striking out 11.
While the Twins have a top half of the lineup loaded with experience from last season’s run to the state title, the bottom half of the order is new to this level of baseball.
“We’re young and it shows,” Twins coach Robb Quelland said. “A lot of kids have not seen the quality of pitching they face at this level or in this league.
“It seems like we are always going against their No. 1. That’s hard for these young guys, but they’ll learn.”
With two outs in the sixth inning, Andresen walked Logan Smith, so Montagna summoned Kaden Roettger to get the last out. Montagna said he keeps Andresen on a strict pitch count because of an arm injury the righty had as a freshman.
For a few innings, Twins starter Logan Smith was able to match Andresen, or as Montagna said one of his assistants put it, the Lynx made Smith look like Nolan Ryan for two innings.
“He made us look pretty silly the first few innings,” Montagna said.
Smith did that with a lot of movement on his pitches. So Montagna had his hitters move up in the box and it paid dividends in the fifth inning, when Dimond got three hits to score four runs and take a 5-1 lead.
“He needs to develop more pitches,” Quelland said of Smith. “They’re an old team and very experienced.
“They figured him out because he only has a few pitches. But he came back and kept battling.”
Smith pitched all seven innings, giving up eight hits and five runs, just one earned. He walked three and struck out four.
Kenny Griffin had the lone hit for the Twins, while Calvin Hills had the lone run.
For Dimond, Sean Carey was 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI, Maurice Montgomery was 2 for 3 and Jesse Boese had a hit, run and an RBI.
In the second game, David Belger pitched a seven-inning, complete game for the Twins in the 8-2 victory.
“The kids responded,” Quelland said. “They came back and did their job.”