WHITEFISH/COLUMBIA FALLS – Only one legion baseball club in the entire Northwest Region can win the final game of the year. It’s fitting that the Glacier Twins, a team that seemed to forget how to lose, picked up that final victory.
The Twins added to their Western District and State tournament titles with the program’s first Northwest Regional championship on Tuesday in Lewiston, Idaho. Glacier blew out Cody, Wyo., 13-0, in the final.
The guys from northwest Montana admitted they didn’t expect this kind of August back in May, when the Twins lost six of their first seven and their first three conference games.
“In the very beginning it was almost tough to say how far we thought we could have taken it,” admitted second baseman Tom Hellwig. “But as the season started going on, we just started getting better and better. It just seemed that with every game the reality of being able to take it this far started to set in.”
“We also played AA teams,” said pitcher and shortstop Coby Clark-Dickinson about the early season skid. “Going to those tournaments, it just helped us seeing the tougher competition. It forced us to make less errors and focus on hitting.”
“We outscored our opponents 503-244,” added head coach Scott Murray. “So I think if anything changed that would be it. We just started hitting the ball, and hitting the ball hard.”
In the middle of all of their championships, Glacier also put up a 25-game winning streak.
Class A legion baseball does not have a World Series like class AA does, so Glacier’s run ends here. Some wish they could keep the magical season going even longer.
“I love being around the guys,” said Clark-Dickinson. “I’m going to miss them a lot. I’d totally be ready. I’d be down to go to a World Series, no doubt.”
“There’s eight districts including us,” explained Murray. “We wish we could go further. We believe in ourselves. We’d love to go farther. But this is it. And we’re just enjoying it.”
“We were all kind of jokingly saying, ‘Man, what if there was a World Series at the A level?'” said Hellwig. “But we had a really good run. And we’ve been playing a lot of baseball. While it would have been cool to go to another tournament, it’s almost refreshing to get a little bit of break.”
You can understand why Clark-Dickinson would want to keep playing. He was named MVP of the regional after batting .588 with a slugging percentage over 1.000 in the tournament. Plus, he pitched eight shutout innings while only giving up two hits.