It wasn’t the perfect league victory to solve all problems, but at this point in the season the American Legion Twins can’t afford to be picky.
The Twins topped Bartlett 9-3 on Monday at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai to move their league mark to 3-5 while Bartlett fell to 0-10.
In the second game, the Twins notched a 15-5 victory in a game shortened to six innings by the mercy rule. The Twins are 8-6 overall, while Bartlett is 3-14.
In the first game, the Golden Bears outhit the Twins 8-7, but also had five wild pitches and a number of costly errors that led to just three of starter Seth Hinson’s nine runs being earned.
“It was one we needed,” Twins coach Gary Oliver said. “Again, we had a number of missed opportunities, but they overcame those missed opportunities and got the runs when we had to.”
Bartlett cut the Twins lead to 4-3 in the top of the fifth inning.
But in the bottom of the frame, the Twins managed to scratch out four runs on just two hits.
Bartlett coach Bernardo Otero said hanging on in the late innings has been a problem for his squad.
“I told the kids they needed that killer instinct in the later innings,” he said.
The bright spot for the Twins was pitching and defense. Matthew Daugherty got the start and went five innings for the win, giving up three earned runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out six.
Klayton Justice was forceful in closing the game, pitching two innings and allowing just a hit while striking out two.
“The pitchers did a good job,” Oliver said. “Mitchell pitched out of a couple of jams. Klayton closed the door.”
The Golden Bears left six on base. Otero said the problem was the top four in the order were setting the table, but the bottom five were not delivering.
The top four are Eddy Cordero (2 for 4, two runs), Alex Franklin (2 for 4), Hinson (2 for 4) and Dimitri Torres (2 for 3 with three RBIs). But the bottom five were held without a hit.
The top of the order also got the job done for the Twins. The top three are JJ Sonnen (2 for 4, two runs, one RBI), Calvin Hills (2 for 4, RBI) and Josh Darrow (2 for 4, run, RBI). Kenny Griffin added two runs for the Twins, while Justice Miller walked all three times he came to the plate and scored twice.
“Our timely hitting is not where we would like it,” Oliver said after the first game.
In the second game, the Twins waited until the sixth inning, but they poured on the offense.
The home team was actually down 5-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth before erupting for 11 runs to end the game.
The Twins sent 16 batters to the plate in the inning, with Bartlett contributing five walks and three errors.
Terrance Slats finished 2 for 5 with three runs and an RBI; Griffin was 2 for 3 with three runs, three RBIs, an inside-the-park home run, a walk and a stolen base; and Tommy Bowe was 3 for 4 with three runs, two RBIs, a stolen base, a walk and a double.
Oliver said Kyle Johnson and Justice did a good job at the bottom of the order by each drawing three walks.
On the mound for the Twins, Jake Conver pitched two innings and gave up three runs, Tyler Covey pitched an inning and gave up a run, Sonnen pitched two innings and gave up a run, and Calvin Hills pitched a scoreless sixth inning for the win.
The Twins host South for a noon league game and 3 p.m. nonleague game Wednesday.