JDHS finishes Sitka tourney with walkoff win

Thunder Mountain defeats JDHS but falls to Dimond, Ketchikan

Juneau-Douglas High School senior Kasey Watts delivers from the mound during the Crimson Bears’ baseball game against Dimond High School on Thursday in Sitka. JDHS lost 8-5 to Dimond. (James Poulson | Sitka Sentinel)

The Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team is 2-2 after opening its season at a round-robin tournament with Thunder Mountain High School and three others teams at Moller Field in Sitka.


The Crimson Bears dropped two games on Thursday but turned things around with wins Friday and Saturday.

JDHS defeated Ketchikan High School 1-0 Saturday morning on a walkoff single by senior Donavin McCurley.

Kings pitcher Michael Starr threw a no-hitter through 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight batters and walking four. However, Liam Kiffer, who came on in relief for Starr, ran into some trouble in the seventh inning.

Kiffer walked Kasey Watts and struck Brandon Keeler with a pitch to put runners on first and second with only one out. Bryan Miramontes advanced both Watts and Keeler with a sacrifice bunt, setting up McCurley’s walkoff hit up the middle of the field.

JDHS manager Chad Bentz used six different pitchers in the win: Watts, McCurley, Kona Ogoy, Brock McCormick, Christian Ludeman and Garrett Bryant. Together, they allowed just two hits.

In stark contrast to Saturday’s game, JDHS scored 16 runs in a win over Sitka High School on Friday. The Crimson Bears broke the game open in the second inning with nine runs, winning 16-5 in six innings.

Senior Michael Cesar led the team with four RBIs as seven different Crimson Bears recorded at least two hits in the game.

Keeler pitched four innings in relief and allowed just one hit.

JDHS fell 14-4 and 8-5 to TMHS and Dimond High School, respectively, on Thursday.

The Crimson Bears threw four pitchers at the Falcons and five at the Lynx.

TMHS wins Thursday, loses two Friday

The TMHS baseball team began Saturday 1-2 at the Sitka round-robin tournament. The Falcons played their final game of the tournament Saturday night against host Sitka.

The Falcons struggled to find their offense in a Friday doubleheader against Dimond and Ketchikan.

In the first game, senior Bobby Cox gave up five hits in 5 1/3 innings in a 4-1 loss to Dimond. Sophomore Bryson Echiverri scored the only Falcons run off a sacrifice fly in the third inning.

“We actually hit the ball pretty well (but) it was at players,” TMHS manager Bill Macaulay said. “So it was one of those odd games where we hit the ball but it didn’t pay off.”

In the second game of the doubleheader, Ketchikan pitcher Tug Olson guided the Kings to a 10-0 shutout of the Falcons.

Olsen pitched a complete game, scattering four hits and striking out five. Thunder Mountain’s Sammy McKnight pitched four innings and allowed eight hits and seven earned runs.

“Hats off to Ketchikan,” Macaulay said. “Their pitchers threw strikes and their defense played well and they hit better than us, so there’s the combination.”

In the Falcons 14-4 win Thursday over JDHS, Camerson Eppers scored three runs while Echiverri, Cox, Owen Mendoza and Chris San Nicolas each had two.

The game was called after the fifth inning. Leading 7-4 to start the bottom of the seventh, Brysen Cordle hit a double to right field. Chandler Lewis, Logan Lesmann and Eppers all singled in the following at-bats, helping score the first of seven runs in the inning.

“That was our first outing so I was really pleased and surprised how well we hit, and it was throughout the batting order,” Macaulay said. “The boys just smacked the ball and had fun running the bases.”

Both Juneau clubs play in their respective home openers against one another April 20 and 21 at Adair Kennedy Memorial Field.

Sitka Baseball Tournament

Thursday — TMHS 13, JDHS 4; Dimond 8, JDHS 5; Kayhi 9, Sitka 7.

Friday — Dimond 4, TMHS 1; Kayhi 10, TMHS 0; JDHS 16, Sitka 5.

Saturday — JDHS 1, Kayhi 0; Dimond 2, Kayhi 1.

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.


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