One minute Quin Gist thought he’d just lost the game for his team — the next he would be responsible for keeping them in it.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Gist popped the ball up over the first base line — a routine out for the right fielder — if they decide to go after it. The out would have sealed a 3-2 victory for the Sitka Wolves.
Instead, as Gist’s ball returned to the field, Sitka first baseman Dayton Cropper gave chase but ducked out the way as the ball hit the ground.
“When I hit that, I was a little disappointed at first,” Gist said. “But you always have to run everything out. It was a close ball game and anything can happen.”
Kasey Watts scored on the play, tying the game up at three. Gist would then have to retake the mound, which he assumed for one out in the seventh, to keep JDHS in the game. The senior closer stranded two runners in the top of the eighth, and the Crimson Bears would go on to win the game 4-3 on newly-called-up Elliot Gifford’s single to center field. Bryan Miramontes scored from third.
“Everyone was just excited for him, it’s a big moment for him, it was just awesome,” Gist said of Gifford.
Through five innings, the score remained tied at 1-1 as both Kasey Watts for JDHS and Vaughn Blankenship for Sitka puzzled batters.
“It seems like this is kind of a down offense year,” Sitka coach Matt Way said of Region V baseball, “but a good year for pitching and defense so we’re seeing a lot of really close games. It’s been pretty fun so far — the region is very close.”
The two teams played again on Saturday.
JDHS wins over Sitka
Elisa Fabrello and Abby Meiners both homered in JDHS softball’s 5-4 win over Sitka Friday night at Melvin Park, improving the Crimson Bears’ record to 5-4 on the season.
It was the second one-run win in a row for JDHS as the Crimson Bears defeated Ketchikan 6-5 earlier that day. They played both Sitka and Ketchikan on Saturday after the Empire’s Sunday print deadline.
TMHS shuts out Kings
Kyra Jenkins Hayes struck out 13 in a dominant outing Friday night in the Falcons’ 3-0 win over Ketchikan at Dimond Park. Alondra Echiverri had two hits for TMHS.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported Elliot Gifford hit a sacrifice fly to end the game. Gifford actually singled on the play.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.