A six-run fourth inning and a complete game three-hitter by Tanner Petrie propelled Juneau’s Midnight Suns Post 25 American Legion baseball team to a 13-3 win over Anchorage’s Dimond Lynx Post 21 on Sunday at Adair Kennedy Field.
“Tanner pitched a really tough game today,” Juneau manager Andy Macaulay said. “He battled and our defense, for the most part, held together.”
Petrie struck out nine Lynx batters, walked five and allowed three earned runs and helped his own cause at the plate by going 4-4 with four singles, 1 RBI and 2 runs scored.
Juneau started fast, putting two runs across the plate in the top of the first inning as Matt Cunningham (1-3), Kellen Johansen (4-5) and RJ Markovich (1-3) all singled. Markovich’s hit drove in Cunningham and Christian Gould blooped a fly into right field that Johansen used to speed from second and slide safely into home. Patrick Millay (2-5) singled to load the bases but Dimond turned a double play to get out of the inning trailing 2-0.
“I think we did a better job of hitting to all fields and putting the ball in play,” Macaulay said. “When we had runners in scoring position we seemed to execute more.”
Juneau stranded the full bases again in the second inning. Petrie kept Dimond in check, striking out four of the first nine batters he faced.
Juneau added a third run in the third as Gould doubled and Pusich brought him home with a single.
Dimond scored in their half of the inning with two outs. The Lynx’ Jordan Clevenger was struck by a pitch, Petrie’s third hit batter of the day, advanced on a single by Grant Remmer and scored on a single by Lucas Thorp. A walk loaded the bases but Juneau’s Jackson Pavitt fielded a ground ball at second and flipped it to Norvell covering the bag for the force.
Juneau broke the game open in the fourth inning with singles by Johansen and Norvell and a Markovich walk. Gould hit a 2 RBI single for a 5-1 lead. After two outs Pusich reached on an error scoring Gould and Petrie singled to put runners on the corners Kurt Vandor reached on an error that scored Pusich and Cunningham followed with a walk. Johansen came up again, disrupting the pitcher into an errant toss that courtesy runner Tod Basden scored on for an 8-1 advantage. Johansen reached on a hard groundball error that brought Vandor across the plate for a 9-1 lead.
Dimond scored two in the bottom of the fifth, again with two out. Thorp walked, Toni Bost singled and Sean Bradley reached on an error that brought two runs across.
Juneau put four runs up in the top of the seventh. Norvell drew a walk and Markovich singled. After a double steal, Norvell scored on a passed ball. Gould walked and put runners on the corners again. With two outs on pop ups by Millay and Pusich, Petrie singled in Markovich for an 11-3 advantage and Gould stole home on a passed ball. A double by Vandor off the fence in center scored courtesy runner Baseden for the 13-3 spread.
Petrie struck out five of the last seven Dimond batters, including the side in the bottom of the sixth and the first two batters in the bottom of the seventh.
“We had a lot more patience at the plate,” Macaulay said. “All around I was pleased with our effort today. It is baby steps. They are coming together in the first weekend and I think, overall, it is just getting the kids more opportunities to play as one team. Through the season I expect to see improvement where they gel together, fit their roles, figure it out and come together as a team. We have Service ahead of us in the next weekend and they are going to be very tough challenge for us. Hopefully we will come out ready to play.”
The game was long over, the fans had left, and two figures ran laps on the Adair Kennedy outfield-warning track. Johansen and Petrie jogged back and forth, from corner to corner, preparing for Service.
Juneau Vs. Dimond game 3
Pitching- Tanner Petrie 9 strikeouts, 5 walks, 3 earned runs.
Batting- Matt Cunningham- 1-3 (single) / Kellen Johansen 4-5 (4 singles, 1 RBI, 2 runs scored) / Tal Norvell 3-4, (3 singles, 1 RBI, 2 runs scored) / RJ Markovich 1-3 (single) / Christian Gould 3-4 (double, 3 RBI’s, 3 runs scored) / Patrick Millay 2-5 (double, single) / Jeff Pusich 2-5 (2 RBI’s, double) / Tanner Petrie 4-4 (4 single, 1 RBI) / Jackson Pavitt 0-2 / Kurt Vandor 2-3 (RBI double).
Pitching- Stephen Jacobs- 3 innings pitched, 6 earned runs / Payton Lauwers 1 inning pitched, walk, 2 earned runs / Sean Bradley 1 innings pitched, 1 strikeout, 0 earned runs / Mason Anderson 1 inning pitched, 2 walks, 1 earned run / Chris Thorp 1 inning pitched, 1 strikeout, 4 earned runs.
Batting- Payton Lauwers 0-2 / Preston Micheletto 0-3 / Jordan Clevenger 0-2 (HBP, walk, 1 RS) / Grant Remmer 1-4 (single) / Lucas Thorp 1-2 (RBI single, 1 RS) / Toni Bost 1-2 (single, 1 RS) / Mahlon Cleveland 0-2 / Chris Thorp 0-2 / Kenny Armstrong 0-2 / Sean Bradley 1-1 (2 RBI single) / Byron Lowe 0-1.
Juneau turns back Dimond 5-4
(Samuel Bibb / For The Juneau Empire)
(Saturday, game 2) - Just hours after suffering a painful loss to Dimond Post 21, Juneau’s American Legion team rallied late to pull out a 5-4 victory in a non conference game. Dimond jumped out to an early 2-run lead in the 2nd inning with a base knock from Payton Lauwers that sent Grant Remmer home. Dimond’s Lucas Thorp would add one of his 2 RBI’s on the night to cap off the inning. Dimond continued to have success off Juneau pitcher Jeffrey Pusich by adding another run in the following inning. Juneau answered in the fourth inning by scoring 2 runs as Matt Cunningham doubled which sent teammate RJ Markovich home. Jacob Thibodeau followed with a hard grounder to short that Dimond used to get the force out at first, rather than trying to make the tough throw out at home. After struggling early in the game Pusich settled down in the 4th inning and finished the game by allowing just one more run the rest of the game. Pusich also relied on infield. With one out in the 7th and final inning Dimond threatened. Juneau catcher Tal Norvel made the highlight play of the night by taking an upstairs pitch from Pusich, and sending a pick off throw at second base to teammate Tanner Petrie who leapt in the air and managed to throw his glove to the ground to just beat Dimond’s Grant Remmer at the base. The play gave the momentum back to Juneau. Dimond’s Preston Micheletto hit an easy pop fly for the final out of the game. Pusich finished the game with 8 strikeouts, and 4 earned runs in a complete game performance. He also added 2 hits in the game. Juneau finished with 13 hits.