Juneau’s Post 25 American Legion baseball team completed a three-game sweep of West Anchorage on Sunday with an 11-1 mercy rule win in six innings on the Adair Kennedy Memorial Park diamond.
The win was Juneau’s third straight 10-run-rule win to start the season, as they defeated West twice on Saturday by scores of 15-5 and 13-1.
Juneau’s Jacob Thibodeau and Gus Swanton controlled the mound for Post 25 on Sunday and Grant Ainsworth went 3-3 at the plate to lead the team with 2 RBI’s and 1 run scored.
“I was very pleased with how well Thibodeau and Swanton pitched today,” Juneau manager Andy Macaulay said. “They were consistently hitting the locations on their pitches and did well setting up their off-speed pitches.”
Thibodeau started and went 4 innings, allowed 4 hits and 1 run, walked 2 West batters and struck out 3 to earn the win. Swanton relieved for 2 innings (2 H, 2 K).
Michael Curran took the loss for West, going 4.2 innings (9 H, 10 R, 5 ER, 4 BB) and LJ Felix relieved for 1 inning (1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K).
Juneau plated the game’s first runs in the bottom of the first as Johansen was hit by a pitch, then stole second. RJ Markovich walked and Johansen advanced to third on a passed ball and then was caught stealing at home. Ainsworth doubled to score Markovich and Nathan Klein sacrificed to score Ainsworth for a 2-0 lead.
“It seemed offensively we were able to get contributions from the entire lineup with Michael Dale and Grant Ainsworth leading the way,” Macaulay said. “Our defense was solid today and came up with a few big plays when we needed it.”
West scored their only run in the second inning as Dillon walked, reached third on an error and scored on an Oberly single.
Juneau added 2 runs in their half of the inning as Jake Macaulay singled to right field, Stefan Beedle singled to right, Michael Dale singled to left and Macaulay and Beedle scored on a passed ball.
Post 25 added another run in the third as Matt Cunningham courtesy ran for Nathan Klein and scored on a Finn Collins line drive sacrifice.
Juneau scored 2 runs in the fourth inning as Ainsworth was hit by a pitch, Klein reached on an error and stole second, and Ainsworth scored on a passed ball. Petrie came on to run for Klein and scored on an error by the West catcher.
Juneau had an opportunity to end the game in the fifth inning. Leading 7-1 with one out, Post 25’s Stefan Beedle reached on an error and advanced to third on a Michael Dale double. Kellen Johansen followed with a double to leftfield scoring Beedle and Dale.
Tanner Petrie advanced Johansen to third with a sacrifice fly and scored on an Ainsworth single to left. Ainsworth advanced to third on an error by the West catcher. Tanner Petrie walked to put more pressure on West and another passed ball had Ainsworth crossing home but he was ruled out as he did not slide on the play at the plate.
West’s final tries at the plate resulted in two singles to start the sixth inning. Swanton got the next batter in a fielder’s choice, struck out a batter and Petrie threw to Collins at third base to end the threat.
West has 8 games on the season and plays without their top three players from the high school season. Their top pitcher and a top hitter play in another legion district in Anchorage. West relied on the senior leadership of players LJ Felix and Mike Miller during action against Post 25.
“We are playing for team building and developing as a team,” West manager Matt Kays said. “The kids are learning how to be role players and fitting into the positions. It has been great playing in Juneau. The town has been gracious and friendly and the facilities are well place. Plus we got to be in town during Celebration and experience the cultural ceremonies. And the baseball competition has been helpful in building our skill level.”
Juneau ended the game in the bottom of the sixth as Collins reached on an error and stole second base. Macaulay was walked and Dale loaded the bases with a single to right. Collins scored on the field action for the 11-1 win.
Ainsworth went 3-3 (2 R, 2 RBI), Dale 3-4 (1 R, 1 RBI), Beedle2-4 (2 R, 1 K), Johansen 1-3 (1 R, 3 RBI), Macaulay 1-2 (1 R, 1 BB), RJ Markovich 0-1 (1 R, 2 BB), Petrie 0-1 (1 R), Klein 0-1 (1 RBI, 1 BB), Collins 0-4 (1 R), Swanton (0-1 (1 BB, 1 K), Cunningham 0-0 (1 R), Tanner 0-0 (1 BB), Thibodeau 0-2.
West’s Hawken Wanamaker, Felix and Dyson Dammeer had 1 hit apiece and Dillon scored 1 run.
“Overall, the coaches are thrilled for these players to get an opportunity to keep playing after their high school season,” Macaulay said. “We host South Anchorage next weekend and it should be a tough series against one of the better teams in the state. Our kids are looking forward to the challenge.”
Juneau Post 25 will play South Post 4 on Friday at 6:30 p.m., Saturday at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m., and Sunday at 11 a.m. All games are at Adair Kennedy.
“It is just another game against a good team,” Post 25’s Klein said. “I definitely think we can beat them but we’ll see, they’ll definitely be good, but we’re also good so it’ll be a good matchup.”