LONGMONT -- After a lackluster performance throughout a 6-1 game one loss in a doubleheader with Longmont/Erie, the Colorado Twins Red ball club desperately needed a lift for game two.
The Twins got the boost they needed in the form of a dominant pitching performance from Aaron Soriano.
The Skyline High School senior-to-be threw his curveball and changeup with lethal effectiveness. He limited Longmont/Erie to one run in seven innings to lead the Twins to a 7-1, split-saving victory.
"It was a tough game one and I thought it was important for us to get a win and split the series," Soriano said. "So I went out there with a lot of attitude and everyone played the field with attitude. We put up runs and I threw good pitches."
In game one, the Twins left 12 runners on base against Longmont/Erie pitchers Barrett Ingvaldsen and Tyler Lee, who combined to walk 10 batters. The Twins left the bases loaded in three of the seven innings and also committed five errors in the field that allowed six unearned runs to cross the plate.
Soriano (1-1) held Longmont/Erie, which made four errors in game two, to three hits and didn't give up a walk. Since the Twins sit near the bottom of the league standings and have lost many games by one run and in extra innings, Soriano said coming back to split Sunday's double-dip was a positive sign.
The curveball was the key.
"This summer I've been throwing the curveball really well and it's been an out pitch for me so I've been resorting to it every time I could throw it for a strike," said Soriano, who recorded five strikeouts. "It felt good right away. It just felt great. Once I got into a rhythm and I was able to get a couple of their main players out, I started leaning on the curveball and throwing my other pitches to the spots."
Longmont/Erie co-head coach Harold Simmons said his players played more like themselves, at least defensively, to win game one despite a strong outing from Twins starter Garret Angstead, who allowed six hits in six innings.
Entering the weekend, Longmont/Erie sat comfortably atop Colorado AABC Connie Mack Open Division standing. But Simmons said its game two lapse was indicative of the team's struggles this season, particularly in the second game of this weekend's doubleheaders.
Against Castleview on Friday, Longmont/Erie took the first contest 12-7 after nearly losing an 11-0 lead and lost game two 6-1. Against the Garrettson Bears on Saturday, Longmont/Erie won game out 16-3 and turned around to lose 3-1 in game two.
"We were pretty clean in game one," Simmons said. "They made some mistakes but I thought the Angstead kid pitched really well. Out of our six, I think we scored a couple that were earned but they were real weak. It's like we are the better team most of the time and we're sweeping the top teams in the league and splitting with the lower-end teams. I don't know if it's mental. I don't know what it is."
Besides flashing some leather for the Twins in game two, Aldair Cintora was 3-for-3 on the day and scored three runs. Longmont/Erie is still without top-hitter Josh Crist who had surgery on his sinuses this week. On Sunday, leadoff hitter Cameron Yee went 4-for-4 in game one and Will Amen had three hits in the two games.
Crist or not, Simmons said the Longmont/Erie dugout must overcome whatever block is preventing them from putting together a streak if they want to finish the summer as league champions.
"I don't know what the heck is going on," Simmons said. "We haven't been making adjustments. That part's frustrating. It would be nice to win this league. We're sitting at the top but we need to go out and get a couple sweeps and win some stuff. It's just been a frustrating weekend."
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Longmont/Erie 6, Colorado Twins Red 1
At Longmont H.S.
Colorado Twins Red 100 000 0 -- 1 4 5
Longmont/Erie 004 002 x -- 6 9 0
W -- Ingvaldsen. L -- G. Angstead.
Colorado Twins Red hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) -- Cintora 1-1-1-0, Olinger 2-0-0-0, G. Angstead 2-0-1-0, Forsyth 3-0-1-1, Soriano 4-0-0-0, Newton 3-0-0-0, Larimore 2-0-0-0, Plunkett 2-0-0-0, Barth 3-0-1-0. Totals 22-1-4-1.
Longmont/Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) -- Yee 4-2-4-0, Lee 4-1-1-1, Amen 4-1-2-1, Fesmire 2-0-0-0, Z. Zamudio 3-0-0-0, Ingvaldsen 3-0-1-2, Rothe 3-0-0-0, Wilkey 3-0-0-0, J. Zamudio 2-2-1-0. Totals 28-6-9-5. SB -- Yee.
Colorado Twins Red pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- G. Angstead 6-6-6-1-2-3.
Longmont/Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Ingvaldsen 5-2-1-1-8-5, Lee 2-2-0-0-2-3.
Colorado Twins 7, Longmont/Erie 1
At Longmont H.S.
Longmont/Erie 010 000 0 -- 1 3 4
Colorado Twins Red 211 300 x -- 7 8 3
W -- Soriano. L -- Nelson.
Longmont/Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) -- Yee 3-0-0-0, Lee 3-0-0-0, Amen 3-0-1-0, Fesmire 3-0-0-0, Crites 3-1-2-0, Z. Zamudio 3-0-0-0, J. Zamudio 3-0-0-0, Rothe 3-0-0-0, Madrid 2-0-0-0. Totals 26-1-3-0.
Colorado Twins Red hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) -- Cintora 2-2-2-1, Olinger 4-1-1-1, G. Angstead 2-2-1-1, Forsyth 4-0-2-1, Soriano 3-0-2-1, J. Angstead 3-0-0-0, Larimore 2-0-0-0, Plunkett 2-1-0-0, Barth 3-1-0-0. Totals 25-7-8-5. SB -- G. Angstead, Forsyth, Cintora.
Longmont/Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Nelson 4-6-7-4-7-9, Wilkey 2-2-0-0-0-4.
Colorado Twins Red pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) -- Soriano 7-3-1-1-0-5.