Twins top Dimond on 1st day of state tournament

  • By Staff Report
  • Tuesday, July 26, 2016 11:44pm
  • Sports

The American Legion Twins, the No. 2 seed, defeated Dimond, the No. 7 seed, 6-3 Tuesday in the opening round of the American Legion Alaska State Tournament at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.

The Twins advance to play No. 6 seed Service at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday at Mulcahy Stadium. Service upset No. 3 seed South 8-4 on Tuesday. The Twins (29-7 overall) are 1-0 against Service this season and 1-3 against South.

“We looked at the bracket and knew we were on the same side as South and Service,” Twins coach Robb Quelland said. “We had plans for both of them.

“We were actually looking forward to playing South. We still have issues with them taking three of four from us. If we want redemption, we will have to wait for another day.”

The Twins, who won the tournament in 1991, 1995 and 2012, moved to 4-0 against Dimond this season thanks to a four-run rally in the eighth inning to come back from a 3-2 deficit.

Quelland said his team is constructed for the late innings of the nine-inning games at the tournament.

“Some teams are just not used to a nine-inning game,” Quelland said. “We believe the Kenai Post 20 Twins are built for this tournament — the way we’ve set up the pitching staff and defense.”

Post 20 went on top 1-0 in the bottom of the first when Josh Darrow started the inning with a single, stole second and third, and scored on a single by Calvin Hills. In the third, the Twins went up 2-0 when Paul Steffensen walked, stole second, moved to third on an error by the catcher, and scored on a single by Hills.

Twins starter Tyler Covey was able to make that lead stand up until the seventh inning, when Dimond got to him for three runs.

Covey would pitch 6 2-3 innings, giving up seven hits and four earned runs.

Hills came in to quell the Dimond rally in the seventh.

“I’ve got to commend Calvin Hills,” Quelland said. “We put him in, in the worst of situations. He cleaned things up in the top of the seventh inning.”

Then the Twins got to work on Dimond starter Sean Gardeline in the eighth.

Joey Becher and Gavin Petterson started the inning with walks to chase Gardeline.

Jesse Boese came on and found trouble. Becher was balked home and Petterson scored on a grounder by Mason Prior for a 4-3 lead.

Before the inning was done, Prior would score on a single by Darrow and Covey would score on an error by the shortstop for a 6-3 lead.

Becher came on to slam the door shut in the ninth, facing just three batters. Hills ended up pitching 1 1-3 scoreless innings.

The game ended on a rare double play. With a runner on first, Dimond grounded to first baseman Matthew Daugherty, who threw to second for one. When Darrow’s throw back to first was high, catcher Cody Quelland backed up first base and got the runner at second.

“It was one of the best plays of the tournament,” Quelland said.

Hills finished 2 for 5 with two RBIs, while Covey was 2 for 4 and Quelland was 2 for 4.

The Team of Excellence also was announced Monday night.

Becher and Daugherty made the team for starting pitching, while Petterson was honorable mention.

Becher was 5-1 with a 2.88 ERA, 48 strikeouts and a .123 batting average against in 34 1-3 innings.

Daugherty was 4-0 with a 1.61 ERA, 30 strikeouts and a .211 batting average against in 31 1-3 innings.

Hills made it at two positions — relief pitcher and outfield. On the mound, Hills had a win and a save with 12 strikeouts and a 2.19 ERA in 12 innings pitched. At the plate, Hills hit .400 with 24 hits, 16 RBIs, 14 stolen bases and 20 runs.

Steffensen also made it in the outfield. He hit .446 with 26 hits, 33 runs, 26 RBIs, 24 stolen bases and 13 extra-base hits.

Darrow made it on the infield. He hit .522 with 36 hits, 11 extra-base hits, 31 runs, 21 RBIs and 15 stolen bases.

Becher, Daugherty and Petterson were honorable mention on the infield.

Quelland was one of four named Coach of the Year. He guided the team to a 16-2 league mark during the regular season, good for the second seed at the state tournament.

“It shows why we took second in the ranking, with the quality of players we have,” Quelland said. “We even had kids that could have been on the team that we couldn’t even nominate.”

More in Sports

Strausbaugh, Hippchen take Turkey Skate

Soldotna hosted Kenai Central for the Turkey Skate at Tsalteshi Trails on… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Sawyer Vann controls Nikiski's Wyatt Maguire at 125 pounds Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, at Nikiski High School in Nikiski, Alaska. Vann notched a 7-6 victory. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Area wrestlers collect mat time before Thanksgiving break

Area wrestlers got in some mat time Tuesday before the Thanksgiving break.… Continue reading

Assistant coach Taylor Shaw leads the Kenai River Brown Bears during a game Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, against the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears start search for new head coach

The Kenai River Brown Bears issued a press release Friday about staff… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Bryce Monrean tries to find a way through the defense of the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues during a first-period power play Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Jr. Blues come back to take series from Bears

The Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues lost not only a 2020-21 season to… Continue reading

Soldotna junior Liam Babitt holds a grip on South Anchorage’s Britten Hamilton during the 215-pound final of the Lancer Smith Fall Varsity 2021 Invite on Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021 at the Menard Arena in Wasilla, Alaska. (Photo by Jeremiah Bartz/Frontiersman)
Soldotna crowns 4 champions at Lancer Smith

The Soldotna wrestling team finished fourth Friday and Saturday at the Lancer… Continue reading

Hockey roundup: SoHi sweeps in Kodiak; West wins End of Road tourney

The Soldotna hockey team swept Kodiak in the first high school games… Continue reading

A brown bear feeds on a salmon. (Photo by C. Canterbury/USFWS)
Refuge Notebook: Bears, uniquely built to respond to winter

With the new snow and temperatures dipping into the single digits, you… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Caden Warren surveys the ice against West at the End of the Road Tournament at Kevin Bell Arena in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
Kenai, Homer hockey lose to open tourney

The Kenai Central and Homer hockey teams both opened the End of… Continue reading

Caden Triggs of the Kenai River Brown Bears celebrates his first-period goal against the Springfield (Illinois) Jr. Blues on Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears topple Jr. Blues

By JEFF HELMINIAK Peninsula Clarion The Kenai River Brown Bears received two… Continue reading

Michael proposes to Sarah at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Out of the Office: Falling in love one snowflake at a time

Do you want to know what I’ve been looking forward to the… Continue reading

Kenai River Brown Bears forward Caden Triggs carries the puck against Anchorage Wolverines defenseman Campbell Cichosz on Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears to host 1st place Jr. Blues

The current stretch of the schedule for the Kenai River Brown Bears… Continue reading