Stone brothers going to miss playing little league

Dave
Dave Mathieson
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AMHERST - They share the same DNA, and anybody who has ever seen them play baseball can see that Mats and Nate Stone also share a strong desire to win.

"They're very competitive," said their dad, Joel Stone. "They're always trying to one-up the other. If they're playing catch, one will try to out-throw the other."

The 12-year-old twin brothers from Springhill are presently locked in a battle against each other for Amherst Little League supremacy.

Nate's Y's Guys are leading Mats Lions 2-1 in their best-of-five championship series. The Y's Guys won the first game, the Lions won the second game, and then on Monday the Y's Guys took a 2-1 series lead after winning 7-6.

Nate pitched the win for the Y's Guys but Mats threatened to tie the game at the top of the sixth and final inning. He hit a double, made it to third, and then threatened to steal home several times, nearly getting caught in a run-down.

"It was pretty scary trying to steal home," said Mats after the game. "I was just hoping he threw a wild one."

Nate said he likes to see his brother do well, but when he saw him on third he wanted to make sure he didn't score.

"I wanted to make sure he stayed on third," he said. "I wanted to end the game right there."

Nate got the final out before Mats could make it home. 

Being twin brothers, Mats said they have a pretty good idea of how each other plays the game, but there are differences.

"He throws curve balls and I throw knuckle balls," said Mats. "And he's more competitive than I am. I think anyway."

Nate agrees that he's a little more competitive, and adds that he has the better fastball.

"He's really good at the knuckle ball," said Nate. "It's a trick pitch. It's hard to learn and hard to control, but my fastball is better"

People not familiar with the brothers can have a hard time telling them apart but Nate said there's one sure giveaway.

"I have a bigger head," he said.

Mats said when they're not competing against each other that they have each other's back.

They often share clothes, and have never spent any great length of time away from each other in the 12 years since they were born.

"We get along but we argue and get in fist fights," said Mats.

Asked how long it has been since the last fist fight Mats looked up to the sky, searched his memory for a few seconds and said, "It's actually been a long time - about two weeks."

They're dad says they're not fighting as much because they're older and bigger and their punches are more accurate and heavy.

"There are more consequences now," he said with a laugh.

The brothers had never played sports against each other until they joined Amherst Little League in the 2012 season.

Mats say's it's ‘pretty awesome' playing against his brother in the championship series and Nate said 'it's pretty cool.'

Mats was a little conflicted about losing game 3 to Nate.

"It's not so bad. It's heartbreaking, but it's just a game."

He said he was concerned at first about playing little league against his brother, thinking it would cause a lot of tension.

"But it hasn't been so bad, I've been quite surprised."

His dad agrees.

"They're pretty good," said Joel. "They understand it's just a game and they're lucky to be able to play here."

He said Amherst Little League has been a good growing experience for the boys.

"They've become leaders because that's what little league does," said Joel. "The little kids come in, and the older kids help the little kids.

"They learn to support the younger kids. It's pretty cool."

This is the last year the twins play little league. Next year they will be on the same team again, likely playing Bantam baseball in Springhill.

Stone said it's been fun watching them play against each other.

"It's a different dynamic," said Stone. "And one of them is going to win."

Both brothers say they're going to miss little league.

"I'll miss playing two games a week and miss playing with my team and miss competing against my brother," said Nate.

Mats said the Lions will win Game 4 on Wednesday night, but Nate isn't so sure.

"It will be a close game but I think we have a good shot at taking it home," said Nate. "But if it goes to Game 5 it will make the season a little longer."

Game 5, if necessary, is Monday night.

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Organizations: Amherst Little League

Geographic location: Springhill, AMHERST

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