ROXANA — When Twin City Post 1167 coach Dave Ufert was working on his team’s 2016 schedule, he decided to add a couple of home games against Kirkwood (Mo.) Post 156.
Twin City had not played Kirkwood in four years.
“They didn’t have a team for a couple of years and they just got put back together,” Ufert said. “Their coach gave me a call and asked me if you’re interested in playing, so we picked up a couple of games. We might try to get another one later this year with them. They just want to play games. They’re just like us, trying to get in as many games as you can. Just play anybody you can get.”
So far, Twin City has been successful against Kirkwood. Post 1167 won both home contests, including a 7-5 victory on Wednesday at Roxana Park.
Twin City improved to 12-2-1. Post 1167 bounced back nicely from a 7-5 loss to the Missouri Expos on Sunday in the championship game of the Greater Midwest Baseball Regional Tournament in Bridgeton, Mo.
“It felt good to come back,” Twin City first baseman Blake Marks said. “We knew that there’s nothing short of what we can accomplish. We knew we were going to come out here and get a win.”
Twin City cruised to an 11-0 win over Kirkwood in the last meeting on June 6. On Wednesday, Post 1167 came back from a 3-1 deficit to complete the season series sweep over Kirkwood.
“They were playing a little shorthanded last time,” Ufert said. “They had their whole team here tonight. That’s a pretty good ballclub. They swing the bats.”
Kirkwood, which started its season on May 22 with a win over Maryland Heights Post 213, dropped to 2-16.
Marks went 3 for 4 with two RBIs, a run scored and three stolen bases.
“He hits the ball hard every time he’s up there,” Ufert said. “You never know what he’s going to do whether he’ll hit it out of the park or hit it off the fence. He’s a really good hitter. Every one of these boys on this team can hit the ball, but Marks really puts a charge in it. He’s a scary hitter.”
Twin City had five pitchers in Wednesday’s game. Marks, who came in relief for starter Josh Rudd in the top of the third, picked up the victory. Spencer Heinemann came in relief in the seventh and picked up the save.
“We were trying to get innings in,” Ufert said. “It’s a bullpen day for a couple of them, so we were trying a couple of them out there in the ballgame instead of practicing. We have two more games on Friday and two more games on Saturday, so we needed to get a little work in.”
Alex Baldwin, Blake Lawson, Blake Vandiver and Howie Fisher each had two hits for Twin City.
Kirkwood took a 2-0 lead on a two-out, two-run homer by Alex Haines in the top of the first. Baldwin cut the lead to 2-1 on a two-out RBI double in the bottom of the second.
Stephen Suntrup gave Kirkwood a 3-1 lead after doubling home Colin Schreeves with two outs in the top of the third. He finished with three hits and two RBIs.
But Twin City came back with four runs in the bottom of the third to take a 5-3 lead. Fisher broke a 3-3 tie by delivering a two-out double that scored Heinemann.
“We had to change our approach at the plate a little bit,” Ufert said. “We were out in front and the boy (from Kirkwood) didn’t throw really hard, so we made a couple of adjustments in our swing and kept our hands back and let the ball get deep and drove the ball.”
Marks delivered an RBI single in the fourth and another RBI single in the sixth.
Twin City will play a pair of road doubleheaders this weekend. Post 1167 will play Belleville on Friday and Trenton on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a hot one this weekend,” Marks said. “We’re going to come out and play some ball and try to get some wins.”
Twin City’s next home game will be against Jerseyville at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.