Tonight marks the second home town matchup between the Crimson Bears and the Falcons and both teams need the win.
JDHS needs to catch back up with Sitka in conference standings and TMHS needs to show it can play in the same ball park. Conference standings after one week of play are: Wolves 4 – 0; Crimson Bears 3 – 1; Kayhi Kings 1 -3; and TMHS 0-4.
Without their ace pitcher and shortstop Lance Ibesate and starting centerfield Jackson Lehnhart, the JDHS boys managed to win 2 of 3 contests against region foes in Ketchikan last weekend. The Falcons fell to Ketchikan 11-6 and JDHS 3-1
Coach Sheldon Winters said the team went into the weekend with the mindset of no excuses and came home with the same attitude.
“It was an opportunity for some of our kids to show what they could do,” Winters said. “And basically we were proud of the way they stepped up.”
On Thursday, the team stuck out a back and forth battle to pull out a 6 – 3 win in the last inning in front of a large Ketchikan crowd.
The following day the ball didn’t bounce the Crimson Bears way in a 7 – 3 loss to Sitka.
On the final day, the Bears managed a tough 3 – 1 win over Thunder Mountain.
On Thursday the Kings jumped out to a 2 – 0 lead in the first inning with two roped hits off starting pitcher Tanner Petrie. The Bears responded with two of their own in the top of the third with a key double by Tod Baseden and a rocket triple by Kyle Gould. Petrie managed the Kay-hi bats the rest of the game spreading 7 hits over 7 innings and holding the Kings to one more run with the assistance of fine defensive back up including several great plays by Kyle Gould at second base. Petrie ended up with 10 strike outs in the game. Tied in the top of the 7th, Josh Magnuson, in his debut game after recovering from knee surgery hit the winning run in with a double, followed by an rbi hard hit by Nathan Klein causing an error and the final run scoring when Brenden Winters laced a single to left field.
Friday’s loss to arch-rival Sitka was a lesson in timely hitting with each team having only 6 hits each. But while Sitka’s Jake Licari came through with 4 rbi’s off a home run and single; JDHS struggled to plate runs; scoring just one run with bases loaded in the third, no runs with bases loaded in the 5th and no runs again with men on second and third in the sixth.
“We just didn’t hit the ball in the right place at the right time,” Winters said, “and Sitka’s defense was as always, solid.”
On Saturday, the Crimson Bears played their closest game yet against Thunder Mountain, squeaking out a 3 -1 victory, where pitching was the name of the game. Jeff Pusich pitched a near perfect game for the Bears, allowing just 2 hits and one earned run. Freshman JR Markovich and Junior Patrick Milllay in relief pitched almost as well for the Falcons, allowing just 5 hits, the key being a double by Tanner Petrie scoring two runs.
Coach Winters summed up the weekend as all in all successful.
“Our opponents played well in each game and we were fortunate to come away with two wins,” Winters said. “Two wins is two wins, and we’ll take them. We know the things we have to work on to continue to improve.”
All teams travel to Sitka next weekend where JDHS will play a double-header against the host Wolves and one game against the Kings. TMHS will switch that schedule, playing a double-header against the Kings and one game against the Wolves.