Waiting until later worked out just fine for the American Legion Twins on Saturday against Kodiak.
The Twins notched a 9-4 league victory against the Bears after deciding to wait later in the day to get the game in due to rain. The two sides even got the nonleague contest in after that, with the Twins winning 3-0 in a game stopped after five innings due to rain.
The local nine had already had a game against Service postponed Friday due to showers. The game was stopped with Service up 2-0 after 2 1/2 innings. It will be continued July 17 at Seymour Park at noon, with the nonleague game to follow at 3 p.m.
Saturday’s game was originally scheduled for noon. Twins coach Robb Quelland pushed it back, but then watched as the rain stopped at noon. He was second-guessing himself until the game was played under pleasant skies at 3 p.m.
“Now here we sit with blue skies and sunshine,” Quelland said. “So much for second-guessing. It was a great day for baseball.”
Patience also paid off against Kodiak as the Twins moved to 7-2 overall and 5-0 in the league. Kodiak dropped to 0-3 and 1-5.
The Twins were down 4-0 after Kodiak struck for another run in the top of the fourth inning. Kodiak starter Luke James had the local nine under control, having yielded just two hits at that point.
“The kid from Kodiak was good,” Quelland said. “He shut down a powerhouse in South. That says a lot for our team.”
The Twins started to get to James in the fourth, when Paul Steffensen started the inning with a double and scored on a single by Adam Brinster. Brinster would score on a single by Austin Asp to make it 4-2.
The real problems for Kodiak took place in the bottom of the fifth inning, when James walked Jeremy Kupferschmid to start the inning. Cody Quelland then put down a sacrifice bunt and made it to third, while Kupferschmid scored, on a throwing error.
“We had a costly error where they were giving us an out on a bunt,” Kodiak coach Derek Clarkston said. “That can’t happen against a quality team like Kenai.”
Showing an immense amount of respect for Steffensen, Clarkston then issued him an intentional walk even though Steffensen was the go-ahead run.
Clarkston said it was a tough decision, but also said Steffensen is one of the best hitters he’s ever seen in the league.
The Twins took advantage when Brinster singled in Quelland and Steffensen for a 5-4 lead. James would exit after five innings, having given up five runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out seven.
Austin Asp got the win for the Twins, going six innings and giving up four runs — three earned — on 10 hits while walking one and striking out six. Steffensen would close out the game with a scoreless seventh.
Quelland liked the way veterans like Steffensen, Asp and Cody Quelland performed despite being down 4-0.
“There was no pressure,” Quelland said. “We know what we have on the bench. We know the arms we have. We trust our defense.
“We know the hits are coming.”
The Twins tacked on four insurance runs against Anders Hocum in the sixth inning.
Brinster was 3 for 3 with six RBIs, while Steffensen was 3 for 3 with three runs and Asp was 2 for 4. Quelland scored twice for the Twins.
For Kodiak, Anders Hocum was 3 for 4 with three runs, Chase Good was 3 for 4 and James was 2 for 4.
Kodiak started a 12-day, nine-game trip with as rocky of a ferry ride as Clarkston can remember. The coach said the team had enough time to recover for the game, though.
In the nonconference contest, Kupferschmid threw four shutout innings and Harold Ochea and Austin Ceccarelli combined to shut Kodiak out over the last inning. Ethan Booth took the loss for Kodiak.
Charles Tappen was 2 for 2 for the Twins, while Steffensen had two RBIs.
Quelland thanked the Parks and Recreation Department of Kenai for making sure the field was ready to go Saturday.
The Twins now go on the road for three key league games — at South at 6:30 p.m. Friday, at Dimond at noon Saturday, and at East at 3 p.m. Saturday.