Malakai Olson

Twins pitcher Malakai Olson delivers to Service on Saturday, June 18, 2022, at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

The Kenai Twins didn’t spot Malakai Olson an easy opponent for his first league start of the 2022 summer season. 

Olson got the nod on the bump in Saturday’s American Legion league game against Service at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai, a team that qualified for the Division I high school state baseball tournament.

Olson — a rising junior at Kodiak High School — faired well against the Cougars. 

The right-hander limited Service to one run on three hits over four innings while punching out one and walking one on 51 pitches. 

Unfortunately for Olson, the Twins offense couldn’t get going against Service starter Jake Rafferty. He allowed only two hits over five innings while fanning nine and walking three.  

Olson’s high school teammate — Hunter Williams — picked up two of Kenai’s three hits. 

Both of Williams’ hits came with two outs — a double in the fourth and a single in the sixth. 

Williams also pitched one inning, allowing one hit on 14 pitches. 

Kenai won the nonleague game 12-6. Olson went 1 for 3 and drove in a pair of runs, while Williams walked and scored a run. 

Kenai is 3-2 in league and 5-4 overall, good for second place in the American Division. Service is 2-2 in the league and 5-3 overall, putting the Cougars at second in the National Division.

Kenai is made up of players from Division II schools Soldotna, Kenai and Kodiak. The Twins’ two league losses came to South and Service, a pair of teams that qualified for the Division I high school state tournament, with the Wolverines winning the title.

“We’ve only been doing this 10 days,” Kenai coach Robb Quelland told the Peninsula Clarion. “And we’re playing this well in 10 days? We’ll be good in 20 days.”

Today, the Twins face Ketchikan, another Division I state qualifier, at 6:30 p.m. in Anchorage.

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