Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 2:55 PM on Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Homer players enjoy summer of Twins' baseball



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Tommy Bowe, left, and Brian Rowe, both juniors at Homer High School, pose for a photo after the Twins won the American Legion AA State Tournament at Mulcahy Park in Anchorage Aug. 4.

Brian Rowe and Tommy Bowe, both of Homer, had a home run of a season this summer playing on the Post 20 Twins American Legion Baseball Team. The Twins maintained a 17-3 win-loss ratio but had to battle their way up from the loser bracket after being defeated by Eagle River in their first game of the American Legion AA State Tournament in Anchorage.

Two of Homer High School's best ball players, Rowe, 17, and Bowe, 16, competed with the Twins against 11 other teams in the tournament. The Twins' hearty confidence was shaken after being placed into the loser bracket.

"We were winning games all season," Rowe explained. "When we lost our first game (of the tournament) we got worried."

The Twins fought their way to the top by winning seven consecutive games and were named state champions after defeating Chugiak 8-7 and 11-4 in the double elimination tournament. It was the first time the Twins had won the title since 1995.

"I knew this team had the potential to win this tournament, we all knew it," said Head Coach Gary Oliver. "They had their minds made up all year that they wanted to win the state championship and they kept it on their minds."

Rowe, who played mainly left fielder, said this was his favorite season out of the three he has played on the Twins. In the championship game against Chugiak, Rowe broke the tied score with a two RBI double and was named "player of the game." Currently a junior a Homer High, Rowe plans to pursue baseball in college.

The Twins team is made up of the best ball players between the ages of 14 and 19 from Kenai, Soldotna, Kodiak and Homer, and many of them play against each other during the high school baseball season.

Bowe said he had to adjust to the new teammates.

"It was kind of weird at first," he said, "but after a while I was glad to play on the same team with them. I am excited to play against them during high school season because I will know them better."

Oliver said that the friction between players on the multi-town Twins is less than what it used to be.

"The guys are used to it, we've had this team for years," said Oliver. "Once we get on the field we leave the high school stuff behind us. We are not Soldotna anymore, we are not Kenai anymore, we are the Twins."

Bowe, also a Mariner junior, has been playing baseball since he was 5. It was his first season with the Twins and he played both as the designated hitter and as the first baseman. He was named "player of the game" after hitting a grand slam home run in the tournament game against Fairbanks.

After winning the American Legion AA State Tournament, the Twins went on to compete in the 100 degree heat at the American Legion Northwest Regional Tournament in Billings, Mont. The Twins were eliminated after losing their first two games against Hawaii and Montana.