Devan Romine homered twice and drove in six runs as Sitka swatted Ketchikan 21-6 during Thursday’s second matchup of the Region V Baseball Tournament at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.
The third-seeded Wolves scored 21 runs on 15 hits and six walks to move on to face defending region and state champion Juneau-Douglas at 6 p.m. today.
JDHS pounded fifth-seeded Petersburg 24-0 in Thursday’s nightcap of the double-elimination tournament’s opening day.
No. 2 Ketchikan faces No. 4 Thunder Mountain at 10:30 a.m. today in a loser-out game. The winner meets Petersburg at 2:30 p.m. in another loser-goes-home matchup.
The Wolves wasted no time jumping on Kings starter Alex Williams for four runs in the first inning.
Luke Clayton was hit by a pitch to lead things off, and V.J. Carlos followed with a single. Michael Matz smacked an RBI single up the middle, and Romine singled sharply off the mound into center to score Carlos.
Jacob Licari drew a walk to load the bases, and back-to-back sacrifice flies by Mik Potrzuski and Cole Venneberg made it 4-0 out of the gate.
Sitka chased Williams in the second after scoring three more runs, including a two-run homer to right-center by Romine, and the Wolves quickly led 7-0 after an inning and a half.
Sitka manager Ed Conway said his hitters expected to see a lot of off-speed pitches from the Kings, and the Wolves were prepared to feast on breaking balls.
“We’ve been working on hitting off-speed stuff all week long,” he said. “That’s what we got, and we were hoping this was going to happen.”
Ketchikan got on the board in the bottom of the second after a two-out, two-run homer to center by Zach Reinhardt to score Chas Allen, who singled. It would have been a three-run homer if not for a great throw by second-baseman Max Hanson to nail Kenny Hamilton at third on Allen’s rip to right.
The Kings added a run after Colton Paulsen singled and went to third on an error before scoring on a double to right by Nick Silva. Silva then scored on a throwing error, and the Wolves led 7-4 after two.
Sitka picked up a run in the top of the third when Hanson scored on an RBI single by Luke Clayton, but the Kings made it a two-run game after a two-run jack to dead center by Brien Auger, making it 8-6 after three.
“That’s how they are. They’re tough kids over there and they never give up. We know better,” Conway said of the Kings’ rally from a 7-0 deficit. “When we were up 7-0, we knew that this thing wasn’t over by a long shot. We just had that one inning where we put a lot of runs on them and it got to the point that it was over then. But we knew they wouldn’t give up.”
With the Kings making a push, the Wolves answered the call once again with two runs in the top of the fourth as Hamilton struggled with his control, walking four batters and throwing 44 pitches in the inning.
Potrzuski laced an RBI single to score Matz, and Licari followed him home after the ball got past the left fielder to make it 10-6 heading into the bottom of the fourth.
The Wolves batted around in the fifth, adding 11 runs, including a two-run homer to left-center by Romine for his second jack of the day. Potrzuski added a two-run bomb to left-center, and Matz a three-run double as the Kings struggled to get anybody out.
In all, 14 hitters stepped to the plate, pounding out eight hits and drawing two walks to blow the game open.
Licari picked up the win for the Wolves, giving up six runs on nine hits, walking three and striking out two.
Romine finished 3-for-5 with two homers and six RBIs, and Potrzuski drove in four with two hits, including a homer, for Sitka.
Carlos and Matz each went 3-for-3 with a walk and four runs scored.
Reinhardt had two hits and two RBIs for Ketchikan.