The Thunder Mountain baseball team began Region V tournament play in Petersburg on Wednesday by silencing the host Vikings 8-3.
Senior Dylan Johnson carried the mound load for the first two innings and faced just six batters. Freshman reliever Tim Christensen took over the rubber in the third and faced the minimum three batters.
The Falcons flipped flop the two pitchers. Johnson threw the fourth, Christensen the fifth, Johnson the sixth and Christensen the seventh.
“The story of the game was our pitching,” TMHS coach Matt Greely said. “Our pitching and good defense.”
The Falcons put five runs across the plate in their half of the second inning to establish control.
Martin Conchas-Michel was hit by pitch and stole second base. Matt Cunningham was hit by pitch and both advanced on a passed ball. Chatham Miller walked to fill the bases and Christensen hit a sacrifice fly that all runners moved up scoring one run. Chris Luck walked to reload bases and RJ Markovich singled to score two runs.
Patrick Millay sacrificed another run and Gus Swanton doubled to left for the fifth.
In the bottom of the third Chatham Miller hit a solo shot over the left field fence to give the Falcons a 6-0 advantage, two outs
“I was just a nice clean swing,” Greely said. “Just trying to swing through the ball, that is usually how they happen, when you are not trying. That was great to see
because he is such a hard worker.”
In the fourth inning RJ Markovich doubled cleanly and advance to third on a wild pitch. Pat Millay hit an RBI ground out to score the run.
“Millay played well,” Greely said. “He had some productive outs, some good situational hitting to score some runs.”
In the bottom of the sixth the Falcons’ Christensen hit a double to left that short hopped the fence. Chris Luck walked and was replaced by courtesy runner Erik Reyna. Reyna got caught off the bag but worked the pickle long enough for Christensen to score the Falcons’ eighth run.
Luck went 0-1 with three walks, RJ Markovich 2-3 with a double and walk, Millay 0-3 with two RBI, Swanton 1-3 with a double and two RBI, Miller 1-2 with a HR and one RBI and one walk, and Christensen 1-2 double with one RBI.
Johnson threw four innings, 49 pitches , 31 for strikes, two strikeouts, two walks and got the win. got the win...
“He stayed down in the strike zone,” Greely said. “We want our pitchers to get the batters to hit weak shots early... we attack the plate.. we want a first pitch ground out, to allow our pitchers to go deeper in the game and the tournament.”
Christensen threw three innings, 53 pitches, 38 strikes, with four K’s and one walk in his first varsity appearance.
“He stepped up big for us,” Greely said. “He has been a force on the JV level and came through for us, he really kept his composure.”
Petersburg falls into the consolation bracket and faces elimination if they lose another contest. The Falcons will face Juneau-Douglas today at 2 p.m.
The Falcons recorded their first region tourney win in school history.
“It is really a nice way to kick off the tournament in the winners bracket,” Greely said. “Petersburg has been gracious hosts and done some nice renovations to the field.”