WHITEFISH – The Glacier Twins looked like one of the teams to beat early in the Class A American Legion Baseball season. By the end, they left no question. The guys from northwest Montana won a state championship on Sunday.
The Twins held off the three-time defending champion Bitterroot Red Sox, 8-6 in the final. That runs the Glacier win streak to 22 games. They have not lost since mid-July, including a 9-0 record through the district and state tournaments, but that doesn’t mean it’s been easy. The Twins had two one-run games and two two-run wins at state, but they always find a way to get it done.
“It’s the closest team I’ve ever been on in my entire life,” said center fielder Terek Bistodeau. “And I just feel like us being able to trust each other and trust that the other person will be able to get it done really helps.”
“We squeaked out wins when we needed to,” added first baseman Ryan Veneman, the state tournament MVP. “Our team never quit, and that’s what was the biggest part of why we won state. Whenever we’re losing we’re like, ‘We’ll be fine. We’ll come back. It’s just only a matter of time,’ and then we usually do.”
“These last 22 games have really represented that, I think,” said first baseman Daniel Seymour. “It just comes to prove that if we play to the best of our abilities, we will come out on top.”
Glacier claimed its second recent title, adding to the program’s 2014 triumph. The Twins did it by taking down their Western District rivals, defeating the defending champion Red Sox four times over two weeks. The victories left little doubt who deserved the trophy, but the 2-1 and 8-6 results at state weren’t easy.
“They were fun games,” said Veneman. “We knew that they would come out and battle. I was part of the teams that the Red Sox used to beat up on us, so it was nice to finally get them back this year.”
“Those kids are good,” added Bistodeau. “And they definitely deserve to be right up there with us. And it feels pretty good to beat them.”
“Those guys are such a quality team,” continued head coach Scott Murray. “Anytime you can beat them is great. But when you can do it with a state championship at stake, it’s better than imagined.”
The Twins and Red Sox could continue their rivalry for one more week. Both teams advance to the Class A Northwest Regional Tournament in Lewiston, Idaho. Glacier opens the eight-team bracket against the Hyrum Trappers, the Utah state champs, at 10 a.m. Friday. Bitterroot plays the final first-round game at 7:30 p.m. against the hosting Lewiston Cubs.