Falcons nip North Pole 3-2 at Sitka

TMHS gets two wins, one loss on road trip
TMHS' Gus Swanton throws during action at Sitka.

Thunder Mountain High School senior Dylan Johnson threw eight innings and classmate Patrick Millay scored on junior Gus Swanton’s single as the Falcons earned their first win of the 2013 season with a 3-2 outing over the North Pole Patriots at Sitka on Friday.


Johnson struck out 10 on 102 pitches with 72 strikes in the extra inning game. He had 1 walk and 1 hit batter. Patrick Millay pitched the ninth inning for the save.

North Pole took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a base hit, a fielding error and a fielder’s choice that scored a run. A double scored the second run of the game.

“We struggled to make adjustments off of their pitchers,” TMHS coach Matt Greely said. “But I was pleased to see our defense and our pitching keep us in the game.”

TMHS’ Finn Collins scored the Falcons’ first run. Collins singled to right center in the third inning and Millay tripled him home.

The Falcons scored their second run with a safety squeeze. Swanton was on third and Johnson on first and Brian Mielke bunted towards the first base and pitcher’s side and all runners were safe.

The Falcons did strand 12 runners, and had nine hits, six walks and scored three runs, and five North Pole errors. North Pole had three hits, one walk, with two errors and six left on.

“It was a credit to their pitching,” Greely said of North Pole. “They pitched well when we had runners on base and it kept them in the game.”

Sophomore Jake Macaulay started behind the plate, senior Taylor Peterson on first freshman Finn Collins on second, sophomore Stefan Beedle at third, sophomore Jared Markovich at shortstop, sophomore Collin Ludeman in left field, senior Patrick Millay at center, and sophomore Reece Milks in right.

The Falcons scored in the top of the eighth for a 3-2 advantage. Millay singled and stole second base and reached third on a fielder’s choice. Swanton singled him in.

Millay faced North Pole’s 4,5, and 6 hitters. The first batter ground out to Jackson Pavitt at third, the second hit to Jared Markovich at shortstop. Millay then walked a batter who stole second and earned third on a wild pitch. A pitch hit the next batter but Millay settled in and struck out the final batter for the save.

Millay went 3-3 with two singles, a triple, one RBI, two walks and three stolen bases. Millay also played centerfield, catcher and pitcher.

“He made an impact for us for sure,” Greely said.

Collins went 2-5 with 2 singles; Taylor Peterson 1-2 with a single and walk in his first varsity game and played noteworthy defense, getting 10 put outs at first base;

Millay had four put outs; and Johnson four put outs on hits back to the mound.

“That was the longest outing Dylan has had in his high school career,” Greely said. “He earned the win for sure.”

On Saturday the Falcons lost to Sitka 8-7. Sitka had eight runs on 10 hits with one error and eight runners left on base. TMHS had seven runs with 12 hits, 11 runners stranded and one error.

Markovich went 3-5 with three base hits; Millay was 2-5 with a single and double, Matt Cunningham 2-5 with two singles.

Pavitt started the game and went four innings, throwing 65 pitches (35 for strikes) and gave up three earned runs. He struck out one and had two walks with five hits.

Markovich went two-and-two-thirds innings, throwing 59 pitches (38 for strikes) and gave up three runs, one earned, with seven strikeouts and two walks.

“It was an excellent ball game,” Greely said. “It was a really back and forth ball game and we learned a lot about our team from that game. It was a classic Thunder Mountain and Sitka game.”

The game was tied 5-5 going into the top of the seventh.

Johnson worked a walk to lead off the inning. Taylor Peterson came in as a pinch runner and Brian Mielke moved him over with a bunt. With two outs Cunningham hit a clutch hit to right that gave the Falcons a 6-5 lead. Markovich singled to make it 7-5. Sitka scored three runs in the bottom of the inning for the win.

Earlier on Saturday the Falcons topped North Pole 10-0.

The Patriots had one hit and four runners left on. TMHS had 10 runs, 9 hits and one error with nine left on base. The game went just five innings by the mercy rule.

Cunningham went 2-3 at the plate, Swanton 2-2 with three RBI’s, Mielke went 1-3, and Jacob Macaulay went 1-1 with 2 RBI’s.

Swanton started and went all five innings, giving up a no hitter in the last inning, throwing 85 pitches (48 strikes) with six strikeouts and just one hit and five walks.

Millay threw out two runners from the catcher position and one from the center field position. Taylor Peterson had a solid defensive weekend as well.

“He is really progressing and showing a lot of promise,” Greely said. “Overall our team responded very well to the different game situations.”

The Falcons next games are on April 26-27 in Sitka. Three games will be against Sitka and count towards the region, and two games will be played against Dimond.



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