First road test a success for Juneau Legion baseball

Mental stamina and pitching key in 6-game trip

Juneau’s American Legion Post 25 baseball team has now officially arrived in the rankings of the Alaska Legion Standings after their first road trip of the season.


Post 25 played six league games in four days, stopping Bartlett 12-5 on Thursday, dropping the opener of a double header with South 4-3 on Friday, winning the nightcap 5-3, sweeping West on Saturday 15-6 and 12-6, and wrapping up on Sunday with a tough 7-4 rematch loss to Bartlett.

“The challenge was six games in four days,” Juneau manager Andy Macaulay said. “We had not been in that situation yet and we had questions about our stamina. This season is a marathon and not a sprint. The kids are excited about being able to travel in June and still playing ball.”

Pitching was crucial for the road swing as pitchers are allowed 12 innings in any three-day calendar period.

“We had to go deep into our bullpen,” Macaulay said. “We worry more about pitch count than innings, we want to avoid injuries and concentrate on arm health.”

Juneau has now climbed into the fourth position in the standings with 39 points and a 9-3 conference mark and 11-4 overall. Wasilla sits at 53 points and 13-1, South is second with 40 points and is 9-4 (13-5 OA), and Chugiak is third with 40 points and a 9-5 mark (11-3 OA).

A points system gives teams four points for a win, two points for a tie, one point for playing and zero for a forfeit and will aid in the final season tournament rankings.

Teams that have been playing more conference games could have a higher standing than a team with more wins just because they have played more games.

In Thursday’s 12-5 win over Bartlett at Kosinski Field, Juneau opened a 5-0 lead by the top of the third inning and added four runs in the eighth to secure the win. Jeff Pusich threw seven innings, striking out 3, walking 5, and allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and 4 errors. RJ Markovich threw the final two innings, striking out 4, walking 1, and allowing 1 run with 1 error. Bartlett’s Gross and Dudley combined for 5 Ks.

Kellen Johansen went 4-4 (4 runs scored, 1 run batted in, 1 walk) and Christian Gould 4-5 (2 RBI, 2 RS) to lead the way. Tod Baseden was 1-5 (3 RS, 1 BB), Tal Norvell 1-3 (2 RBI), Markovich 2-4 (1 RBI), Pusich 1-3 (1 BB), and Kurt Vandor 1-3 (1 RBI, 1 RS). Tanner Petrie and Jackson Pavitt each had 1 RS. Bartlett’s Gross tallied 2 RBI.

Friday - JNU 3, South 4

Juneau out hit South 10-8 and had the bases loaded in the ninth inning after Baseden was hit by a pitch, Johansen singled and Gould singled but South picked up a double play to end the game on Taylor Young Memorial Field.

Gould was 4-4 at the plate (2 RS) and Markovich 2-5 (1 RBI, 1 RS) to lead the way. Dylan Johnson threw eight innings with 7 Ks, 1 BB, and allowing 4 runs off 8 hits.

Friday GM2 - JNU 5, South 3

Gould continued his hot day at the plate with an RBI single in the fifth inning that scored Baseden for the go-ahead run. Juneau had held a 2-1 lead until the top of the fifth when south scored twice. Baseden then doubled in Juneau’s at bat to score courtesy runner Collin Ludeman (Millay had singled), Johansen singled Baseden to third and Gould brought him home. Johansen would score on a passed ball for the final 5-3 score. Baseden (2 RBI, 2 RS), Johansen (1 RS) and Millay each had 2 hits in the game. Tanner Petrie went the distance, throwing seven innings with 3 Ks, 3 BB, and allowing 3 runs on 8 hits with 1 error.

Saturday - JNU 15, West 6

Juneau broke open a tie game with six runs in the top of the fifth inning to blowout West on Kosinski Field. Juneau had 19 hits in the game. Gould was 4-6 (1 RBI, 4 RS), Baseden 3-6 (2 RS), Markovich 3-4 (3 RBI, 3 RS) to lead. Vandor threw into the fourth inning with 1 K, 4 BB, allowing 6 runs on 7 hits. Jacob Thibodeau finished five innings with 4 K and allowing just 4 hits with no runs scored.

Saturday GM2 - JNU 12, West 6

Juneau scored four runs in the first and tacked on one each in the second and third innings against West in the night cap, then added three more in the fourth to easily finish a seven inning win. Baseden (2 RBI), Johansen (2 RBI), Markovich (2 RBI), Millay and Cunningham each had two hits. Millay broke his batting slump to tally 1 RBI and 2 RS. Gould was 1-3 (3 RS) to continue his hot plate streak. Thibodeau threw four innings with 5 K, and 2 runs on 5 hits. Millay allowed 3 runs on 2 hits and 3 errors, with 1 K and 2 BB. Markovich closed two-plus innings with 4 Ks, 1 BB, and 1 run on two hits.

Sunday - JNU 7, Bartlett 4

Juneau outhit Bartlett 8-6 at Chad Bax Field, but found itself on the short side of the scoreboard. Johansen 2-4 (1 RS), Markovich 1-3 (1 RBI), Norvell 2-3 (1 RS), Pusich 1-2 (1 RBI), and Cunningham 1-3 (1 RS) led. Pusich threw two innings, allowing 1 BB and 5 runs on 5 hits with 1 error. Norvell threw the final five innings and had 4 Ks, 1 BB, and allowing 2 runs on one hit.

Bartlett scored two runs in the first, three in the second and one in the top of the third and one in the fifth. Juneau fought back with two runs in the third and one in the fourth. In the seventh inning Johansen singled and advanced to second on a Gould sacrifice and scored on a Markovich double. Norvell walked and Pusich walked to load the bases with two outs and give Juneau new life. The game ended on a called third strike.

Scores from this week included:

Thursday - JNU 12, Bartlett 5; Eagle River 12, West 7; Service 11, East 4.

Friday - South 4, Juneau 3; Juneau 5, South 3; Wasilla 11, Service 2; Dimond 4, Fairbanks 3.

Saturday - Service 4, Dimond 3; Wasilla 12, Fairbanks 1; Wasilla 6, Fairbanks 3; Juneau 14, West 6; Juneau 12, West 6; Eagle River 6, Kenai 5; Eagle River 19, Kenai 10.

Juneau will host East Post 34 in a double-header on Saturday at 3 (league) and 6 p.m. (non-league) at Adair Kennedy Field and on Sunday at Noon (league).

The following weekend Juneau hosts top seed Wasilla.


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