Juneau’s Gastineau Channel Little League Minors All-Star baseball team won’t be bringing home a title banner from Anchorage, at least not the Anchorage District 1 Tournament banner that they, not only won, but won by outscoring their opponents 106-21 over seven games.
The Minors topped Abbott-O-Rabbit in the championship game on Monday night 12-0, earning another 10-run mercy rule win in the tournament, their fifth in seven games. Officially they win the tournament, unofficially not the District 1 banner.
Brock McCormick had another excellent game on the mound, striking out five, walking two and allowing just one hit.
The Minors put the game away in the first inning as Bryson Echiverri (3-4, 2 RBI, 2 RS) singled, Cody Requa (2-2, 1 RBI, 2 RS) singled and Echiverri scored. Christian Ludeman (2-2, 3 RBI, 2 RS, 1 BB) than put a blast over the fence for 2 more runs. Brock McCormick (0-1, 1 RS) was hit by a pitch, Oliver Mendoza (1-3, 1 RBI, 2 RS) singled and Garrett Gleaton (1-1, 2 RBI, 2 RS) tripled for a 5-0 advantage. Steffen Jones (2-2, 1 RBI, 1 RS) singled to score Gleaton.
The Minors picked up one in the second as Requa tripled and scored on a Mendoza ground out.
Five more runs in the third was icing on the championship cake for the Minors. Gleaton walked, Jones singled, and Echiverri brought them home with a triple. Requa walked, Ludeman doubled in Echiverri, and Mendoza reached but Requa was out at home. Ludeman scored on an error and Mendoza scored on a Nathan Renkes (1-3, 1 RBI) single. Eric Dobson went 0-2, Gavin Millard 0-1, and Isaiah Nelson 0-0 (1 BB).
Since the District 2 Tournament was cancelled this season, the Minors received an exemption from Little League headquarters in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to compete in Anchorage’s District 1 tourney. Since the Little League Minors Divisions have no state championships it was a great opportunity for the Juneau team to get some games against other opponents in the state.
The District 2 teams had to okay the invitation as well.
“We really don’t care about getting a banner,” GCLL representative Jeremy Ludeman said. “It is just about letting the kids get some more games. There has been talk that we will receive the District 2 Championship banner from our league. But the kids are just thrilled they got to play up in Anchorage.”
Anchorage may not be as thrilled next year.
The Minors avenged an early round-robin 10-4 loss to Dimond-West on Wednesday by defeating them in the semifinals 10-6 on Sunday night. The Minors also toppled Knik Gray 13-0, Abbott-O-Rabbit 12-1, Palmer 23-6, and Nunaka Valley 22-2.
MAJORS: JUNEAU 20, PRINCE OF WALES 1
Juneau recorded their second mercy-rule win in the District 2 Tournament at Wrangell on Monday, toppling Prince Of Wales 20-1.
“The kids played really well today,” Juneau manager Robert Cox said. “It was a shortened game because of the 10-run rule but the kids played hard.”
Batting highlights included Logan Lesmann going 2-4 with a double and single, Riley Griffin had a single, Garrett Johns had a single and double (with two steals on the double to score).
Bobby Cox nearly hit for the cycle. Cox opened with a triple and stole home to score, then followed with two singles, and ended the night with a 3 RBI home run over the right field fence.
Juneau pitched several players to save arms. If a pitcher throws more than 20 pitches he must have a days rest. Griffin threw 17 pitches in the first inning,
Brandt Hultberg 14 in the second inning (3 balls, 11 strikes), Cox 12 pitches in the third inning (3 balls, 9 strikes), and Lesmann 19 in the fourth.
Juneau will play another unbeaten, Sitka, today at 3 p.m. Sitka has defeated Ketchikan and Petersburg.
“It should be a pretty good matchup,” Cox said. “Sitka and Ketchikan are both looking pretty tough, we have our work cut out for us in this tournament for sure.”
Juneau plays Petersburg tomorrow at 3 p.m. and Ketchikan on Thursday at 12:30 p.m.
The top four teams advance into the semifinals on Saturday with the championship on Sunday.
JUNIORS: JUNEAU 10, SITKA 2
The Gastineau Channel Little League Junior All-Stars opened District Tournament play in Sitka in inhospitable manner, beating the hosts 10-2.
Steven Cole started on the mound and threw six innings, striking out 1, walking 1 and giving up just 2 runs on 9 hits with 2 errors. Cole’s teammates had his back in the contest.
Christian Schenker closed in the seventh, striking out 1 and giving up 3 hits.
Juneau struck in the top of the first inning as Donavin McCurley (1-3, 2 RS, 1 BB) and Michael Cesar (0-2, 2 RS, 1 BB) drew walks. The duo pulled a double steal and McCurley scored. Antonio DeAsis (2-4, 1 RBI) singled scoring Cesar and stole to third. Erik Kelly (1-3, 1 RBI, 2 RS, 1 BB) walked and stole second when DeAsis was caught at home. Sammy McKnight (1-2, 2 RBI, 1 RS, 2 BB) singled scoring Kelly.
Sitka scored two in the bottom of the inning.
Juneau got one run in the second as Corbin Neville (0-3, 1 RS, 1 BB) walked, advanced on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.
Juneau added another run in the sixth as Trevar Fiscus (1-1, 1 RS) singled, stole second and third and scored on a passed ball.
Juneau clinched the game in the seventh, scoring 5 runs, with a McCurley single leading off. Luke Mallinger (0-0, 1 BB) walked, DeAsis singled and Kelly singled to score McCurley. McKnight walked scoring Cesar, Dale singled but DeAsis was caught at home, Cole walked scoring Kelly, and Quin Gist (2-3, 2 RBI) tripled to score McKnight and Dale with Cole getting caught at the plate.
Juneau plays Ketchikan today and a double header against Sitka and Ketchikan tomorrow. The top two teams advance to a best-of-three championship series beginning Thursday.