Two of four Gastineau Channel Little League baseball and softball teams have already begun postseason play and things are about to go full tilt with the start of the Alaska District 2 Little League Baseball Tournament beginning today at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.
The field at Miller Park has been recently resurfaced so the high school teams’ field at Adair-Kennedy had to be modified for the Little Leaguers.
“They put in temporary fences at 200 feet, moved home plate back toward the backstop, built a new pitcher’s mound, moved the bases in to 60 feet and that’s about it as far as the baseball part of it,” GCLL Majors manager Spencer Storie said. “It’s a whole different look. We’ve been practicing now for a week and a half and to be able to play where the high schoolers play has definitely been special for them.”
The Majors state tournament also is in Juneau beginning next week.
Joining the homestanding GCLL in the 11-12-year-old Majors tourney is Sitka, Petersburg, Ketchikan, Prince of Wales, Wrangell and Haines. This is the first time in several years the tournament has been in Juneau.
“The kids are excited and they like their chances,” Storie said. “I have nine 11-year-olds out of the 12 I have, and they’ve done well in the past so they’re pretty optimistic.”
Guy Bean gets the starting nod on the hill for GCLL today.
The tournament begins daily at noon with round-robin pool play this week before finishing with a four-team championship bracket. Pool A includes Sitka, Petersburg, Ketchikan and Juneau, and Pool B includes Prince of Wales, Wrangell and Haines. Juneau plays at 6 p.m. each day of pool play, and a full schedule can be found on B2.
Softball — Majors: GCLL 10, Nunaka Valley 0; GCLL 15, Nunaka Valley 5; GCLL 11, Nunaka Valley 1
The GCLL softball Majors earned a Western Regional bid after completing a three-game sweep of Nunaka Valley on Sunday in the state tourament at Dimond West in Anchorage.
Juneau began the tourney Friday with a 10-0, 3 1/2-inning route of Nunaka Valley, with Erica Maiquis getting the win.
“The girls played with focus and we did great,” manager Randy Bates said. “We had outstanding pitching the first night and went just three and a half innings. Erica was lights out and struck out eight of the 12 batters she faced. And our bats were alive.”
Jordan Harris went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBI, Maiquis went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run scored, Quincy Bates was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored, Makayla Harp had a hit and scored two runs.
GCLL gave up a couple of early runs Saturday but cruised to a 15-5 win in five innings, blowing it open with a seven-run third inning, and then took the deciding game 11-1 in five innings, this time with a seven-run second inning.
The team is off to San Bernardino, Calif., on Thursday for the Western Regional.
Baseball — Juniors: GCLL 4, Ketchikan 0
The GCLL All-Stars began Juniors tournament play with a 4-0 shutout of Ketchikan on Saturday in Craig behind a one-hit, 16-strikeout performance on the hill by Nathan Klein.
Juneau scored twice in the second and once in the third and fourth innings, finishing with eight total hits, including two each for RJ and Jared Markovich, and Grant Ainsworth.
Klein worked ahead in the count all day, throwing 15 first-pitch strikes to the 20 hitters he faced. He threw 83 total pitches, 65 for strikes, and he also doubled and scored a run to help his cause on the mound.
The GCLL All-Stars are back in action today against Prince of Wales at 5 p.m.