C.J. Corso's three-run, walk-off homer in a 7-4 victory over Ketchikan on Friday highlighted the Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team's weekend series at Sitka. The Crimson Bears went on to crush Sitka 14-2 on Saturday to finish 4-1 on the road trip.
It marked the second time in three days that the Crimson Bears beat the Kings in the game's final at-bat. On Wednesday, Juneau came back from a 8-5 deficit to beat Ketchikan 9-8.
Sophomore Joe Ayers started Juneau off in the bottom of the seventh inning with a single and stolen base. Dylan Hickey was intentionally walked by Ketchikan pitcher T.J. Milner to bring Corso to the plate. Corso, who was in the game for Brett Fairchild, faced a two-strike count when he connected with Milner's fastball for a blast over the left-field fence.
The Bears led 3-1 after four innings behind a solid pitching performance from sophomore Zach Kohan. Kohan went 423 innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, striking out three and walking two.
Junior Greg Smith relieved Kohan in the fifth inning and Senior Will Nicholas came into the game in the seventh inning to claim the pitching victory.
"Smith did a great job," Juneau assistant coach Mark Hickey said. "He's turning into our middle reliever."
Ketchikan tied the game in the top of the fifth inning, but Ayers scored on a single by Hickey in the bottom of the inning to take a 4-3 lead. The Kings added another run in the top of the seventh to tie the game a four.
Ayers and sophomore Matt Freeman each went 2-for-3 and Corso went 2-for-4 to lead the Bears in hitting.
Much like Wednesday's game against Ketchikan, the Kings had to stay on the field to face Sitka where they were defeated 11-4 to end the week with a disappointing 0-5 record. Sitka went 3-1 on the weekend.
"They're a good team with a lot of good ballplayers," Mark Hickey said. "They just ran into some bad luck."
On Saturday, Juneau's drubbing of Sitka avenged Thursday's 10-8 loss to the Wolves.
The Bears started off the game fast, scoring four runs in each of the first two innings and five more in the third inning. The game lasted only five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Junior Dylan Hickey went the distance for the Crimson Bears, giving up one earned run on four hits while fanning four Wolves.
Ayers went 2-for-3 and Fairchild went 2-for-2 with a first-inning home run and four RBIs. Freeman added three RBIs on a double in the second inning and Hickey helped his own cause with three RBIs. Sophomore Nick Wolf, who was a courtesy runner for Hickey, scored three times in Hickey's place.
"We're all pleased coming out of here 4-1 and in first place," Juneau head coach Jim Ayers said. "They're a team that never thinks they're out of it. They are real focused and we showed a lot of heart. Our pitching is pretty strong and our defense looked good. We just need to cut down on the errors."
Juneau travels to Ketchikan on Wednesday for another weekend series between Ketchikan and Sitka.
The JV squad defeated Sitka on Friday 8-1 and tied Ketchikan 2-2 on Saturday to finish its road trip with a 2-0-1 record.
Crimson Bears 7, Kings 4
Saturday's game at Sitka
Ketchikan 100 020 1 -- 4 8 2
Juneau-Douglas 020 110 3 -- 7 9 2
Kohan, Smith (5), Nicholas (7) and Baun, Thatcher (4), Baun (6); Milner and Van Arpt. W -- Nicholas , 1-0. L -- Milner, 1-1. 2B -- Juneau: None; Sitka: Miller. 3B -- None. HR -- Juneau, Corso (1); Sitka, None.
Crimson Bears 14, Wolves 2
Friday's game at Sitka
Juneau-Douglas 445 01 -- 14 9 1
Sitka 001 01 -- 2 4 4
Hickey and Baun; Haavig and Stokel. W -- Hickey, 1-0. L-- Haavig, 0-1. 2B -- Juneau: Dutton, Freeman; Sitka: None 3B -- None. HR -- Juneau, Fairchild (1), Hickey (1); Sitka, None.