A miserable season for the Southeast Legacy Twins ended in much the same fashion on the weekend, as the baseball club crashed out of the provincial midget AAA championship in Saskatoon with an 0-3 record.
The Twins, who finished last in the Saskatchewan Premier Baseball League at 6-26, lost their opener 13-3 to the Regina Mets on Friday night.
On Saturday, they lost 7-4 to the Regina Athletics in the afternoon and 12-6 to the Saskatoon Giants that evening.
The Twins committed 15 errors in three games.
"It was a tough weekend," said Twins head coach Tom Copeland.
In 2011, the Twins finished last in the SPBL but proceeded to reach the semifinals at provincials. Not so this time around.
In Friday's loss to the Mets, which didn't start until 9:45 p.m., the Twins scored all three of their runs in the fifth inning. But the Mets had a 10-0 lead by that point.
Regina scored three runs in the first inning, two in the second and five in the fourth. They later added three more in the sixth inning, at which point the game was called.
Twins starter Austin Orsted got hit hard, allowing 10 runs (six earned) on eight hits in three and two-thirds innings. He did strike out six batters.
Four players had one hit apiece for the Twins, including Carver Krafchuk, who doubled in a run and later scored. Josh Ferris and John Gaab also crossed the plate.
Paul Vogelsang led the Mets, hitting 2-for-3 with two runs batted in.
Mets starter Nathan Haroldson shut down the Twins, throwing three and two-thirds of no-hit ball.
The Twins made six errors in the Saturday morning loss to the Athletics, and Copeland said that was primarily what sunk them.
"Two key errors lost that game. We should have won that game and we didn't," he said.
The biggest one came in the fourth inning when, with two outs and the bases loaded, Athletics star Justin Schulz hit a fly ball to right field that was dropped by Nolan Axten. When the dust settled, all three baserunners had scored and Schulz was standing on third base. He would also score in the inning.
"We held (Schulz) down pretty good and when you hold him down, you should win the ball game," said Copeland.
The Twins had been leading 4-3 after scoring two runs in the top of the fourth.
Jolan Lingelbach had three RBI for the Twins, including a two-run single in the fourth.
Southeast starter Justin Chuckry worked three and two-thirds innings, allowing seven runs (only one of them earned) on three hits, five walks and five strikeouts.
In the loss to the Giants Saturday night, Saskatoon scored three runs in the first inning and took a 7-2 lead after three en route to the win.
"By the third game, the kids were pretty deflated because there wasn't much chance we were going to keep going (in the tournament)," said Copeland.
The Twins scored two runs in the second inning, three in the fourth and one more in the sixth.
Josh Ferris and Lucas Lafrentz each drove in a pair of runs for the Twins.
Starter James Giroux was roughed up, allowing seven runs (five earned) on nine hits in two and a third innings. Mackenzie Lamontagne and Garret Fitzpatrick came on in relief.
Copeland said the SPBL was very strong this season and that the level of competition exposed his team's weaknesses.
"The ability to hit in our league is absolutely tremendous. When you don't have the best pitching staff in the world, you can't make a lot of errors."
Copeland said there were some promising individual performances during the season, despite the team's woeful showing, singling out John Gaab, Tanner Odgers and Jolan Lingelbach.
He added that the team will look to build around rookies Krafchuk, Fitzpatrick and Giroux in the future. Giroux led the team in innings pitched this year.
"We see a lot in Carver Krafchuk's game. We really, really like him," Copeland said. "Those three kids should be a cornerstone of everything we're doing.
"I think we had a lot of promise coming into the season, but once we got into a losing streak, it was pretty much impossible to get out of that funk."
Copeland said the strength of the bantam AA program in Estevan bodes well for the Twins future, but added that the results are unpredictable when rookies try to integrate themselves in the SPBL.
"What do we do going forward? I don't know. You'd like to think you've got a pretty good (group) coming through the system, with our bantam team winning provincials. But there's a big difference between AA ball and AAA."
Axten is the only player graduating from the midget ranks.
"But that's not to say that these kids aren't vying for a job (after) 11 wins in two seasons," Copeland said.