The Southeast Legacy Twins dominated a midget AA tournament in Swift Current on the weekend, going undefeated until a loss to the hosts in the final.
While the competition was largely subpar to that of the AAA Saskatchewan Premier Baseball League, the Twins used the tournament to give their younger players some experience.
"We dressed younger lineups and experimented with some things. We got some good starts from guys that haven't started yet this year," said Twins head coach Tom Copeland.
"We had a couple of guys that broke out of their slumps, so hopefully they can carry that into our league play. We need some wins," he said.
The Twins began the tournament with a 15-4 whitewashing over the Regina Buffaloes on Friday night.
On Saturday, they won two more games to finish the round-robin undefeated.
The Twins won the first game 8-1 over the Saskatoon A's, with Garret Fitzpatrick pitching a complete game.
The second game was a 10-0 blanking of the Unity Cardinals, in which James Giroux threw a complete game of his own.
They then faced Macklin in the semifinals on Sunday, winning 12-7.
Nate Koszman pitched six innings to get the win.
"We probably could've let Nate go a little further if we wanted to," said Copeland.
The Twins' fortunes turned in the final though, as they lost 12-2 to the powerhouse Indians.
"Swift Current's got a really good team. They'd be among the top three AAA teams in the province if they entered," said Copeland.
He said it was a good weekend to tinker with some situational hitting and base-running, such as bunting and stealing third base.
"They stepped up and won the games they were supposed to win and that didn't happen last year. Now it's about moving forward and getting the finer elements of the game down," said Copeland.
"The kids went in and threw strikes, that's what we were looking to them to do, and the defence didn't make too many errors."
Meanwhile, the Twins dropped to 4-10 in league play with a 4-2 loss to the Regina Mets last Tuesday at Lynn Prime Park.
Both runs for the Twins came in the sixth inning, after they were down 4-0.
The Mets got on the board in the first when Chase Nistor singled, advanced to second on a walk, then scored on a single by Paul Vogelsang combined with an error by Josh Ferris in right field.
Regina took a firm grasp on the lead in the third when Vogelsang again singled in Nistor and Brendan Hill came in on a balk.
In the fifth, Hill hit a lead-off double, stole third and scored on a single by Josh Burke.
The Twins broke the goose egg in the sixth.
Nolan Axten led off with a double, then scored when Sean Jonassen singled and an error was committed by centre fielder Turner Nistor.
Jonassen then came in to score on a sac fly by Ketter Hoium.
Austin Orsted led the Twins at the plate, hitting 2-for-4.
For the Mets, Hill went 3-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
Mackenzie Lamontagne got the start for the Twins, going three innings and allowing three runs on four hits, four walks and five strikeouts.
James Giroux pitched the final four innings in relief, and for the most part mowed down the Mets, allowing just three hits and one run, issuing one walk.
But pitching must improve, Copeland said, for the Twins to recover from a five-game losing streak which has dropped them to eighth in the SPBL.
"We've gotta get better starts from our pitching staff. You can slice it or dice it any way you want, but they've gotta start throwing strikes and not let our defence fall asleep. It's up to them to get the job done or we'll have to make changes, because we did get strikes from these rookies this weekend. We've gotta get rid of that one bad inning we always seem to get lately."
The Twins were scheduled to visit the Mets last night. Their next regular season action is June 23 when they visit the Saskatoon Giants for a doubleheader.