The Southeast Legacy Twins played some tight games, but in the end managed one win on a four-game road trip on the weekend.
The Twins split a doubleheader in Swift Current against the Indians on Saturday, then lost a pair to the Saskatoon Cubs on Sunday in Saskatchewan Premier Baseball League action.
Of the three losses, the Twins were never more than three runs behind.
“Our kids need to learn to expect to win. Losing isn’t normal,” said Twins head coach Tom Copeland. “Last year they were a very young club, and it’s time to change the expectations from ‘losing close games is OK’ to ‘we’re going to do whatever it takes to win this game.’ If we can change our attitude, we’re going to be a force.”
The Twins started the weekend on the right note, riding a six-run sixth inning to an 11-8 victory over the Indians.
“We hit the ball well in the first game, gave them some leads back, made some errors and that’s the only reason that game’s even close,” said Copeland.
Swift Current roared back to score four runs in the seventh inning to make the game close, with Copeland estimating that his team made six errors in the inning.
“We were doing our best to give it back to them. Walks and errors will kill you. We needed all of that lead and thank God we got it. It’s all about putting teams away because otherwise you just burn up the pitch count,” he said.
Tanner Orsted allowed two hits in five innings for the Twins while striking out seven and walking four.
John Gaab led the team at the plate with two hits and five runs batted in. Nolan Axten had three hits and three RBI while Jolan Lingelbach had two hits and three RBI.
“He’s really coming into his own,” Copeland said of Gaab. “I didn’t even know who he was and I wouldn’t have put him on our team last year coming into camp, but he’s a guy who’s really done the job. Against right-handed pitching, he has a great approach and he’s a great fastball hitter. He had a tremendous game on Saturday.”
In the second game, the Twins ran into Indians pitcher Zac MacKay, who threw a complete game gem with three hits and 13 strikeouts. Swift Current won 3-0.
Lingelbach, Carver Krafchuk and Ketter Hoium had the hits for the Twins, who started Mackenzie Lamontagne.
Copeland said MacKay got hurt in the first game of the day and then came back to pitch the second one.
On Sunday, the Twins lost a pair of close games to the Cubs.
In the first game, the Cubs got two runs in the bottom of the seventh on a triple by Wynston Ramsay to win the game 8-6.
“You gotta put teams away when you get a chance,” said Copeland, who said his team failed to bring in runners on a few occasions.
Krafchuk went 2-for-3 for the Twins, with Orsted and Lamontagne also getting two hits.
Justin Chuckry went four innings and Garrett Fitzpatrick took the loss.
Copeland said it was a tough day on the pitching front.
“I think our guys would tell you they’d rather have those games back. Ramsay ate us up. We couldn’t get anything by him, he killed us,” said Copeland.
The second game was a 4-2 win for the Cubs. Both of the Twins’ runs came in the third inning, with Josh Ferris and Orsted both crossing the plate on unearned runs.
Gaab, Ferris, Nate Koszman and James Giroux had the hits for the Twins.
Giroux started the game but was hurt in the first inning, so Nolan Axten came in for the next five innings and allowed five hits and two runs, one of them earned.
He said one positive was being able to tighten up after allowing baserunners.
“We definitely pitched out of some jams this weekend and that’s something we couldn’t do last year,” he said, noting that his team stranded a leadoff triple in one inning.
“It was a good tight ball game is all it was,” added Copeland. “We didn’t play poorly. Some days you’re just going to lose a good ball game.”
He said Giroux and Odgers are injured, but he doesn’t expect them to miss much time.
The Twins will play at a tournament in Moose Jaw this weekend.