The American Legion Twins took three of four from Fairbanks squads Friday and Saturday in Anchorage to shoot up the league standings.
Post 20 secured two crucial league victories Friday over Fairbanks Post 11 in Anchorage, starting with a 5-4 walkoff winner in extra innings and ending with an 8-3 win in seven innings.
Saturday, the Twins lost to Fairbanks Post 30 9-7 in a nine-inning game before coming back for a 7-2 win the seven-inning second game.
The Twins are now 9-6 in the league, good for 42 points. That put them at third place before all of Saturday’s results were in.
“They took it seriously and the results were awesome,” said Twins coach Robb Quelland after Friday’s sweep.
Quelland said of the 15 players on the Twins roster, 13 were used Friday in a team effort.
“The energy of the kids was great, they’re playing as a team,” Quelland said.
Friday’s first contest, scheduled for nine innings, went one inning further before the Twins found a way to win.
After Fairbanks scored to take a 4-3 lead in the top of the 10th, the Twins answered back in the bottom of the inning with a leadoff walk by Calvin Hills, who then advanced to second with an infield hit by Josh Darrow.
Darrow was tagged out when JJ Sonnen took first base on fielder’s choice, and with Hills on third, Kenny Griffin smacked a single that brought Hills home to tie it up at 4-4.
The walkoff winner came courtesy of Jake Conver, who sent away a deep fly ball to the right-center field gap that brought Sonnen in to score.
Darrow ultimately ended up hitting 3 for 4 with a triple to lead the Twins, while Griffin went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Tommy Bowe went 2 for 4 with one RBI.
Homer’s Kyle Johnson started on the mound and pitched four solid innings for the Twins, giving up just two runs. Justice Miller, Clayton Justice and Tyler Covey all got time on the mound as well.
The second game, which finished in the scheduled seven innings, saw the Twins start slow but finish fast, as Post 20 scored two runs in the third inning, one in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh.
Covey earned the win, tossing four innings of two-run ball, while Justice threw two innings with one run and Bowe closed it out with a scoreless seventh inning.
Covey also led the Twins at the dish by completing the difficult task of hitting a pair of triples. Darrow hit 1 for 4 with a double, while Conver went 2 for 4.
In Saturday’s first game, Quelland said missed opportunities and base-running mistakes cost the Twins, who piled up 14 hits in the contest.
The Twins made just two errors in the contest, but ran themselves out of two of the nine innings.
“We can make this a positive if we make the mistakes at this time and not redo it in crucial games at the state tournament,” Quelland said.
Joey Becher started at worked six innings, giving up three runs while striking out five and walking one. Klayton Justice gave up five runs in 1 1-3 innings, while Justice Miller worked the final 1 2-3 and gave up a run.
Darrow was 3 for 6, while Bowe was 2 for 5, Conver was 4 for 5, Calvin Hills was 2 for 5 and Miller was 1 for 5 with two RBIs.
In the second game, Matthew Daugherty went six innings and gave up two runs while striking out six and walking three. Bowe worked the last inning and worked out of a bases-loaded jam unscathed.
The Twins got just four hits in the game, but walked six times and were able to eliminate base-running errors.
The Twins host Dimond on Tuesday at the Kenai Little League fields. The league game will be at noon, while the nonleague game is at 3 p.m.