The Gastineau Channel Little League Majors All-Stars and their Sitka counter parts combined for 21 runs, 18 hits and 7 pitchers and none was bigger than Garrett Johns single in the bottom of the sixth inning that gave the Juneau lads an 11-10 come-from-behind win at the District 2 Tournament in Wrangell on Tuesday.
Juneau trailed 10-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth and looked to be entering the loss column.
“We had some mistakes in the first inning and gave up a lot of runs,” Juneau manager Robert Cox said. “It is hard to come back from a game when you give up that many runs. We had a lot of fans coming up saying it was the one of the greatest games they have seen, but for the coaches it was a little nerve wracking.”
With one out Johns (2-2, 1 RBI, 1 RS, 1 BB) got the rally started with a single. The next batter struck out and just one out remained. Logan Lesmann (1-4, 2 RS) reached on an error and Johns scored on the action. Luis Mojica (0-2, 1 RS, 1 BB) earned a walk and Robert Cox (3-3, 3 RBI, 2 RS, 1 BB) blasted a double to score Lesmann. Mojica would score on a wild throw. Kyle Carver (1-4, 2 RBI, 1 RS) singled and Cox scored on a wild pitch. Will Hoover (0-1, 1 RS, 2 BB) walked and Brandt Hultberg (1-4, 1 RS) reached on an error with Carver scoring. Hoover scored on an errant throw bringing the score within one, 10-9.
Riley Griffin (0-3, 1 RS, 1 BB) walked and Hultberg scored to tie the game. Then, with an 0-2 count, Johns singled to centerfield to score Griffin.
“We just kept talking that it is never over until it is over,” Cox said. “And to just keep their heads in the game and working towards our goal. We told them they have scored a lot of runs in a single inning before and now was the time to do it again and, doggone, they did it. They got it done.”
Sitka opened the game with 9 runs in the first inning and made it 10-0 in the top of the third before Juneau scored three runs in the bottom. Lesmann singled, Hultberg doubled, and Cox singled to score Lesmann. Hultberg would score on a passed ball and Cox would score on a fielder’s choice hit by Carver.
Griffin (37 pitches-23 strikes) started on the mound getting 3 K, walking 2, and giving up 9 runs on 7 hits with 8 errors. Kolby Hoover (38-23) relieved for 1.2 innings (5 K, 1 BB, 1 R, 0 H). Cox (35-22) threw two-plus (4 K, 1 H) and Hultberg (16-11) got the win as he threw in the sixth (1 K, 1 BB, 1 H).
“Our pitchers were big for us,” Cox said. “We threw a lot to save arms for the next game.”
Other batters in the game included Jacob Johnson 0-2, Kolby Hoover 1-1 (1 RS), Aaron King 0-1, Josh DeAsis 0-1, and Brennon Ludeman 0-1.
Juneau has 3 wins and no losses in the tournament and will play Petersburg (1-2) today at 3 p.m. and Ketchikan (2-1) tomorrow at noon. Sitka (2-1), Wrangell (1-2) and Prince Of Wales (0-3) round out the field. The top four teams advance to a single elimination finals beginning Saturday.