Tahoe Twins | Local baseball team wins NABA World Series title | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Twins | Local baseball team wins NABA World Series title

Submitted PhotoThe Tahoe Twins gather for a team photo after defeating San Gabriel Valley, 11-9, in the title game of the NABA World Championship Series in Phoenix on Sunday.

Put aluminum bats in the hands of Tahoe Twins hitters, and offense is sure to follow.

Swinging metal instead of the wood bats they normally use, the Twins scored 87 runs in eight games en route to winning the National Adult Baseball Association World Championship Series title in Phoenix this past weekend.

and#8220;We play with wood bats all summer, then go down there and swing aluminum and it’s amazing the difference,and#8221; said Twins manager Bob Habeger, whose team made up of North Tahoe and Truckee players finished 7-1 in the 18 (and older) Rookie Division of the tournament.

It was an impressive run from start to finish, culminating with an 11-9 upset win against San Gabriel Valley on Sunday.

After a dominant 3-0 start to the tournament, the Twins suffered their first and last loss against the Washington Pilots, 12-8, on Friday.

Using strong pitching and an explosive offense, the Twins bounced back to take down the Utah Rounders, 14-4, behind a solid start from Sean Bernardo on Saturday morning. That sent them to the playoff round as a No. 3 seed to face the No. 6-seeded Caxcanes and#8212; a team from Los Angeles County that eliminated the Twins from last year’s tournament.

The Twins would earn their revenge, as they defeated the Caxcanes, 8-4, on Saturday afternoon with the help of starter J.R. Murphy, who allowed four hits while striking out eight in a complete game.

and#8220;For not pitching a lot lately, J.R. was solid,and#8221; Habeger said. and#8220;He was on a mission for us. He threw a heck of a game.and#8221;

The win placed the Twins in the semifinal round against the second-seeded Chino Dodgers. Joe Thomas started for the Twins, throwing a gem before Jesse Hildebrandt came in to pitch the eighth and ninth innings and preserve the 5-3 win. Habeger said it was the best game the Twins played all year.

Then came the true challenge of playing for the championship against top-seeded San Gabriel Valley, a powerhouse club that had outscored its opponents by a count of 83-18 entering the contest.

But it was the Twins who came out swinging, posting five runs in the top of the first inning to shock the No. 1 seed and#8212; opening with a double, followed by a single, another single, a fly out, a single, another single and a double.

Cory Munoz went 3 for 5 with four RBIs in the game to earn MVP honors, while Hildebrandt started and allowed eight hits in eight innings, and Bernardo closed it.

Habeger said the Twins faced more hard-throwing pitchers than they did a year ago, which seemed to bode well for the team. He didn’t have offensive stats from the tournament, but said nearly everyone hit the ball well.

For more information about the NABA World Championship Series, go to dugout.org. For more about the Tahoe Twins, visit their team website at http://www.tahoetwins.com.

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