After playing six games in three days last weekend, the Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team has a light schedule this week with just four games in two days.
The two-time defending state champion Crimson Bears (5-1 overall, 3-1 Region V-Class 4A) will take on the Sitka Wolves (1-3 region) at 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Friday. The teams play again at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at Sitka's Moller Field.
The Juneau JV team also will see action this weekend, with a game at noon today against Prince of Wales varsity and another game against the Sitka JV at 8 p.m. On Friday, the Juneau JV plays POW at 9 a.m. and the Sitka JV at noon. On Saturday, the Juneau JV plays the Sitka JV at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
In other action this weekend, the Sitka JV and younger varsity players took on POW on Wednesday night and the Wolves play POW again at 3 p.m. today.
Juneau head coach Jim Ayers said he'd probably start senior right-handed pitcher Matt Greely in Friday's series opener, then will use senior right-handed pitcher Zach Mixson in the nightcap. On Saturday, Ayers said he'll likely start senior left-handed pitcher Sergio Magallanes in the early game and sophomore right-handed pitcher Jesse Nelson in the late game. Senior right-handed pitcher Geno Vick will close or be used in situational relief.
The Wolves have a losing record, but they were within a run or two of beating Ketchikan (4-4 region) in each of their losses, which took place three weeks ago at Ketchikan's Norman Walker Field.
"Their pitcher, Matt Way, is pretty tough and we'll probably see him in Game 1," Ayers said. "This year they changed the rule so you can only use a pitcher for 10 innings in three days (it used to be 14 innings), so that's tough on everybody."
Juneau is coming off a weekend where its JV/younger varsity players won two non-conference games against Prince of Wales in Craig, then the varsity squad went 3-1 against Ketchikan in Ketchikan.
The Crimson Bears beat Ketchikan 3-2 in the opener, but only after Ayers threatened to play the game under protest after a controversial ejection and reinstatement of Ketchikan pitcher Casey Bass (after Bass allegedly pushed Juneau runner Tres Saldivar back into the ground after Saldivar scored on a wild pitch). Ketchikan won the next game 6-3, but Juneau came back to sweep Saturday's doubleheader 14-3 and 10-0 with both games ending early because of the 10-run mercy rule.
"We had several errors and I think we were trying to do too much," Ayers said. "I'd like to have an errorless game. We're a very enthusiastic team and we play with a lot of intensity, and I figure they're thinking about the next play instead of the one they're in. Sitka likes to run and if you make an error then you start to have panic plays. I'd like to get the defense settled down."