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All-Time Twins Tournament, Killebrew Round, Day 1: Torii Hunter has an identity crisis

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And the author is befuddled.

Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox
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Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

We’re now in the quarterfinals with many brackets thrown into chaos.

T.J. Regional (played)

(16) 2017 Twins 7
(9) 1925 Senators 2
‘17 leads 1-0

Jose Berrios pitched seven innings of four-hit baseball and ‘17 hammered Tom Zachary in the fifth inning, taking an early lead in the Harmon Killebrew round with a 7-2 win.

‘17 picked up a run in the top of the first after Eddie Rosario singled in Brian Dozier, but the offense, despite recording hits in every inning, only returned to the scoreboard in the sixth, but broke the game open in the process. With one out, Jason Castro singled and Byron Buxton doubled him home. Alex Ferguson relieved Zachary, but would not record an out as ‘17 alternated walks with doubles to make the score 5-0. A Max Kepler single would bring in the final run of the inning.

Though ‘33 scored runs in the seventh and eighth aided by Castro throwing errors on successful stolen bases, relievers Alan Busenitz and Buddy Boshers kept ‘25 from presenting a potent threat to the game.

Stars of the Game
‘17 — SP José Berríos: 7 IP, 4 H, R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
‘17 — C Joe Mauer: 3-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI
‘25 — RP Allen Russell: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 K
‘25 — C Muddy Ruel: 2-4, RBI

Tawny Regional

(13) 2003 Twins 1
(12) 2006 Twins 5
‘06 leads 1-0

Torii Hunter homered and drove in three runs for ‘06, who opened their quarterfinal match by defeating ‘03 5-1.

Despite falling behind in the second when Torii Hunter blasted a solo home run for ‘03’s sole run, ‘06 scratched a pair of middle-inning runs before Hunter launched a three-run blast in the eighth to complete the scoring. The home run was ‘06’s second of the game, their first run coming on when Rondell White hit one over the fence with nobody on base.

On the mound, Francisco Liriano surrendered four hits and one run in five innings of work, while four ‘06 relievers pitched hitless innings to keep ‘03 off the scoreboard. The strong pitching promises to repeat itself in Game 2, when Brad Radke will face off against Brad Radke.

Stars of the Game
‘03 — RP J.C. Romero: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K
‘03 — CF Torii Hunter: 1-2, HR, R, RBI, BB
‘06 — CF Torii Hunter: 3-4, HR, 2B, R, 3 RBI
‘06 — SP Francisco Liriano: 5.0 IP, 4 H, R, ER, 2 BB, 6 K

Maija Regional

(6) 1924 Senators 2
(3) 1969 Twins 4
‘69 leads 1-0

After watching a 2-0 lead disappear, Rod Carew claimed it right back with a two-run double, the winning margin in ‘69’s 4-2 victory.

‘69 initially took the lead with John Roseboro’s RBI single in the second, then extended it in the fourth on Rick Renick’s solo home run. But ‘24 tied the game with single runs in the fifth and sixth, both times driving in a runner on third who had tripled.

It only took half an inning for ‘69 to pull ahead again. With one out, Walter Johnson gave up a single to Leo Cárdenas and walked Rick Renick. George Mogridge entered on the mound and struck out Roseboro, but Carew sent a double deep to center that brought home both runners.

Despite closer Ron Perranoski surrendering three singles in the ninth, he struck out Bucky Harris to strand the bases loaded and finish the game.

Stars of the Game
‘24 — SS Roger Peckinpaugh: 2-2, 3B, R, BB
‘24 — 3B Ossie Bluege: 2-4, RBI
‘69 — 3B Rick Renick: 1-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB
‘69 — SP Jim Kaat: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 4 K

Sandwiches Regional

(7) 2019 Twins 3
(2) 1933 Senators 4
’33 leads 1-0

‘33 spoiled Taylor Rogers’ first relief appearance of the Killebrew Round, with Luke Sewell’s ninth-inning single walking off ‘19 by a 4-3 margin.

‘19 grabbed an early 2-0 lead thanks to solo home runs by Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco, but ‘33 tied the score in the third. After loading the bases with no outs, Jake Odorizzi let loose a wild pitch that scored one run, then walked Joe Kuhel and Goose Goslin to force in the tying score. But Odorizzi induced two popouts to third and a fly to right to prevent further damage in the inning.

The teams traded runs in the middle innings, Goslin’s sacrifice fly parried by Miguel Sano’s RBI triple, before bats went quiet until the bottom of the ninth. After Rogers struck out Buddy Myer, Kuhel and Goslin both singled before executing a double steal. With runners in scoring position, Sewell slapped a grounder through the infield to give ‘33 the first game of the series.

Stars of the Game
‘19 — RF Max Kepler: 2-4, HR, R, RBI
‘19 — RP Ryne Harper: 2.0 IP, H, 0 R, BB, K
‘33 — SS Joe Cronin: 2-4, 2B, R, BB
‘33 — C Luke Sewell: 2-5, 2B, walk-off RBI single

Introduction
Walter Johnson Round: Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4 / Day 5
Harmon Killebrew Round: Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4 / Day 5
Kirby Puckett Round: Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Day 4 / Day 5 / Day 6 / Day 7
Joe Mauer Round: Preview / Game 1 / Game 2 / Game 3 / Game 4 / Game 5 / Game 6 / Game 7
Review