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Glacier Twins get early start to Legion season

by FRITZ NEIGHBOR
Daily Inter Lake | April 18, 2021 1:45 AM

American Legion baseball starts early enough for most Montana teams just coming out of a winter freeze, but the Glacier Twins are hitting the diamond in a hurry: Sunday they’ll be in Missoula to face the AA Mavericks.

The first of two 7-inning games starts at 1 p.m., and veteran Twins’ coach Kevin Slaybaugh figures to have Jacob Polumbus start that one on the bump.

After that it could be Stevyn Andrachick, George Robbins or Zach Veneman. It was really too early for Slaybaugh to tell.

“We’ll find out where we’re at right away,” said the coach, who guided the Twins to a 35-21 mark last season, including a 2-2 showing at the State A tournament.

The good news is it is a deep pitching staff, with outfielder Mason Peters — who fought arm issues a year ago — ready to lend a hand as well. The bad news is the rest of the roster is not so deep.

“We’re kind of in a position where we’re short on numbers,” Slaybaugh said. “Probably eight or nine kids will pitch for the A team before it’s all said and done.”

Slaybaugh has 22 kids out to fill the A and B rosters, but there are some dudes — Veneman and Andrachick were All-State selections a year ago and Peters was all-conference.

Veneman, a catcher for much of 2020 who will also play shortstop, is the lone senior.

Andrachick will play some short, as will Mike Glass, who moves up from last year’s B team. Slaybaugh said Glass will also play a lot of second; Robbins or Danny Dunn will man third and Ethan Austin or Hayden Meehan will play first.

In the outfield is Taylor Bryan in center as well as Polumbus, when he’s not pitching.

Dunn will share the catching duties as well.

Glacier won the State A title in 2014, and the Twins were runners-up in 2016 to the Bitterroot Red Sox, then won state again in 2018. In 2017 and 2019 they lost out at districts, which gives them a bit of a Saberhagen-every-other-year rep.

Slaybaugh feels this team has the talent to break through in an odd year.

“I really do,” he said. “We’re really young but we’re really talented. A little depth would help us but as the season goes on a lot of our B guys will help us.

“And it’s really kind of neat knowing they’re all coming back (in 2022) except for Zach.”

After the Missoula trip, the Twins’ next action is in Whitefish against Libby on April 28.