Juneau’s Legion Post 25 (11-3 conference, 14-4 overall) dominated Anchorage’s East Post 34 (4-13, 4-17) in American Legion baseball action at Adair Kennedy Field on Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday’s opening twin-bill saw Tal Norvell strike out 9 East batters while allowing just 2 runs on 3 hits in a 7-inning mercy rule shortened game as Juneau won 12-2.
“It was a good solid six,” Norvell said of his outing. “We got it done early which was nice as my arm was starting to feel it a bit.”
Norvell struck out the side in the second inning, downed two in the third inning, and whiffed at least one batter in the other five innings.
“Tal pitched really well in relief in our last game on the road trip,” Juneau manager Andy Macaulay said. “I wanted to see how he would do with a start and he did very well. And our defense backed him up very well.”
Norvell was efficient with his pitches and got ahead in the count on hitters, which set the tone for the game.
Statistics provided by Juneau coach Frank Barthel had Patrick Millay going 2-2 with 4 RBIs, Jackson Pavitt 3-4 with 3 Runs Scored, Tod Baseden 1-2 with 2 walks and 2 RBI, and Norvell 2-4 with 2 RBI.
“We are starting to hit the ball on the ground more,” Norvell said. “Less pop ups and it puts pressure on the other team’s defense to make the plays. We are getting good timely hitting into the opposite fields and the gaps.”
The second outing of the double header, a non-league game, was also shortened by the mercy rule after Juneau put up a 24-2 score in four-and-a-half innings on 21 hits.
Norvell went 5-5 with 9 RBI and 3 RS, Collin Ludeman 3-3 with 1 RBI and 2 BB, Kellen Johansen 3-3 with 2 RBI and 1 BB, Christian Gould 4-5 with 2 RBI, and Kurt Vandor 2-3 with 2 RBI.
Jeffrey Pusich threw 2 innings and allowed no hits and no runs. Jacob Thibodeau relieved the final 3 innings allowing 2 runs and 1 hit.
Juneau went the full 7 innings on Sunday, winning 12-2 as birthday-boy Matt Cunningham went 3-4 at the plate with 1 RBI and 1 BB and made five put outs in center field.
Johansen went 3-5 with 1 RBI, Norvell 2-3 with 3 RBI, RJ Markovich 3-5.
Tanner Petrie threw 6 innings, striking out 10 East batters and giving up 1 unearned run on 3 hits for his fifth victory of the season. Kurt Vandor pitched the final inning, striking out the first batter and forcing the next two hitters to ground out to the infield.
“We need to minimize our walks and our defensive errors,” Macaulay said. “That is what we really need to work on to continue to be successful. Offensively we are getting some good shots when we need them and we are showing good discipline at the plate. We did not help their pitchers out, we made them work deep into the counts.”
Juneau will host conference leader Wasilla Post 35 (15-2, 16-3) on Saturday (3 p.m. & 6 p.m.) and Sunday (noon).