Twins struggle in shortened tourney

by Daniel McKay
Whitefish Pilot | June 24, 2020 1:00 AM

The Glacier Twins went 1-2 in the Missoula AA tournament last week before the event was cut short due to coronavirus concerns.

The team faced off against the Cranbrook Bandits, the Northern Lake Mountaineers and the Kalispell Lakers AA squads in the tournament. The remainder of the tournament was canceled by Missoula County Health Department officials due to concerns over social distancing with out-of-state teams and fans.

On Thursday they opened with a blowout victory over the Bandits by a 11-3 score.

Glacier held a 5-3 lead before exploding for six runs in the sixth, with RBIs coming from Payton Davisson, Zach Veneman, Austyn Andrachick, Trenton Tyree and Jack Price.

The next day they lost a heartbreaker to the Mountaineers.

Despite an early 6-1 lead after three innings, the Mountaineers came roaring back with three-run innings in the fourth and fifth, and added a lone run in the seventh to knot things up at 8-8.

Both teams remained scoreless in extra innings until Northern Lake’s Jack McDonald singled in the bottom of the 10th to drive home the winning run.

Even with the loss, Glacier racked up 14 hits in the game.

Cade Morgan pitched five innings for the team, striking out four, while Tyree put in three innings of his own and struck out as many.

The squad didn’t get much redemption later in the afternoon, falling to the Lakers AA 10-4.

The Twins led 4-3 through the top of the fifth inning, but a seven-run bottom of the frame put Kalispell ahead for good.

Veneman put in four innings on the mound, striking out seven but allowing nine runs on seven hits.

The Twins started the week by splitting a doubleheader against the Mission Valley Mariners at home on Tuesday.

After falling behind 3-0 after two innings, Glacier finally got on the board with a lone run scored by Price in the third inning.

Price found home plate again in the fifth inning to bring the game to 3-2.

Then the Twins bats got hot. They rattled off 11 runs in the sixth inning, with nearly every player scoring.

Glacier tallied 14 hits and 12 RBIs as a team. Veneman notched four RBIs and Morgan added a pair.

George Robbins pitched the entire game, giving up five hits and three runs but striking out three.

That late game scoring burst didn’t come in the second game, which the Twins lost 5-4.

The Mariners got off to strong start again, scoring two runs in the first and adding a third in the third inning, which Glacier matched with three runs in the bottom of the inning.

Both teams tacked on a single run in the fifth inning, leaving the game tied after a scoreless sixth.

Mission Valley found home in the seventh inning, however, and the Twins couldn’t match it.

The team had four hits to Mission Valley’s nine in the game.

That loss ended what was a nine-game win streak for the team.

On Tuesday after press time the team hosted the Bitterroot Red Sox A team for a pair of seven-inning games.

Starting Thursday, the team will then host its annual Ed Gallo Tournament at Memorial Field. Glacier leads off with a 7 p.m. showdown with the Billings Expos A squad, while the Twins B team will face the Expos B at 4:30 p.m.

On Friday the Twins A will play the Spokane Expos at 7:45 p.m., and they’ll play the Eagles Baseball Club at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Pool play begins Sunday.

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Zach Veneman tracks down a baserunner between home and third during Tuesday’s game one win over the Mission Valley Mariners. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)

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Jack Price beats the throw to first during Tuesday’s game one win over the Mission Valley Mariners. (Daniel McKay/Whitefish Pilot)