The American Legion Post 20 Twins defeated West 15-0 in five innings Thursday in league play at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.
The game completed the regular season for the Twins, but with a full slate of league games still to be played late Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the postseason fate of the Twins is still up in the air.
The top two teams in each of two divisions qualify for state. Then the next four best teams go regardless of division.
Before the Thursday night games, Eagle River, Chugiak, Service and South were in the top two slots in the divisions.
Battling for the next four are Bartlett at 10-6, Palmer at 9-7, the Twins at 9-7, Dimond at 9-5, Wasilla at 8-7 and Juneau at 6-6.
With so many teams so close together, Thursday’s game against West (4-11, 6-21) was vital for the Twins (15-13 overall).
That’s why Twins coach Robb Quelland turned to Atticus Gibson on the hill.
“We just trust him,” Quelland said. “He’s been the guy for so long.”
Gibson responded with a shutout, giving up three hits and walking none while striking out seven.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Gibson said of getting the ball in big games. “I like to see how I’ll do under the stress.”
Gibson said having Jacob Belger behind the plate added to his comfort level. Gibson said he mostly stayed with fastballs, unless hitters were fouling that pitch off. Then he would mix in some offspeed stuff.
“It’s a pretty good team,” Gibson said of the Twins. “The only problem we have is hitting and I think we can all get on that pretty soon.”
Quelland said hitting has been the focus of recent practices. It paid off Wednesday as the Twins banged out 10 hits and also took four walks while striking out just twice.
The Twins were able to put 13 runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning.
“It’s good hits, too,” Quelland said. “It’s not bloops. It’s actually sitting back and hitting the ball hard, which was nice to see.”
The Twins were able to walk three times in the first, and another batter was hit by a pitch. Quelland said the patience was impressive with so much on the line.
“Sometimes with certain games, you just get too antsy and they sat back and waited,” he said. “They realized getting on base is a big deal and trusting the guy behind you.”
Gibson went 2 for 3, while Daltyn Deborski scored two runs, Hunter Williams had two runs and two RBIs, Belger had two runs and two RBIs, Simon Grenier had two runs and three RBIs, and Andrew Pieh was 2 for 3 with two runs.
“We’re prepared for anything,” Gibson said of playing the waiting game. “It we make state, we’ll go out and do our best. If we’re in the Matson, then we’ll go out and win that.”