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Evan Scandling wanted a rematch with the Ketchikan Kings this weekend.
When he got to Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park on Thursday night, Scandling, the pitcher of record in the only loss of the season for the Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team, was told Dylan Hickey would be the starter. While warming up in the cold, rainy weather, Hickey's arm stiffened and Scandling was told to get ready.
Scandling had his rematch. He made the most of his second chance, throwing a four-hitter as the Crimson Bears claimed a 13-1 victory over Ketchikan in a game called after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
"I wasn't even expecting to pitch," said Scandling, who lost to Ketchikan 12-7 in Juneau's season opener last week. "I really wanted to start against them. I wanted to redeem myself."
In Thursday's other varsity game, Sitka rallied from seven runs down in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Ketchikan 11-10. The Wolves scored eight runs before winning the game with only one out. David Gauthier scored the game-winning run when Dan Stockel reached on an error, and Tristan Hanson scored three runs for Sitka. Jared Keller hit a three-run homer for Ketchikan, which was still feeling the effects of Sitka's rally when the Juneau-Ketchikan game started.
The Crimson Bears took some pressure off Scandling by scoring five runs in the first inning, but in a way the rally caused other worries. In his first game against Ketchikan, Scandling took a 5-0 lead into the third inning only to have the Kings score nine runs on three Juneau errors.
"That first game we'd also scored five runs, so I wasn't too comfortable," Scandling said. "Once we were up by nine or 10, then I felt better. Everything was working tonight."
Juneau scored its five runs in the first inning as Ketchikan committed three errors behind pitcher Caleb Mickel, who picked up the win last week in the 12-7 game. Dylan Hickey had an RBI single, Zach Kohan hit a two-run single and Greg Smith hit an RBI double for the key hits in the inning as Juneau sent 10 hitters to the plate.
In the second inning, Juneau scored four more runs as Brett Fairchild hit an RBI single and Smith hit a three-run double to clear the loaded bases with two outs in the inning.
"He tricked me with a curve ball, but I was able to hold back," said Smith, who didn't play in Juneau's 14-3 victory over Sitka on Wednesday. "I guess our bats are still on."
"Greg did a great job," Juneau head coach Jim Ayers said of his catcher. "He's a senior who's worked hard to get where he is. He and Evan called that game, we didn't call any pitches from the dugout."
Juneau added another run in the third inning as Hickey singled home Joe Ayers, who'd walked to lead off the frame.
That made it 10-0, but Ketchikan scratched out a run in the top of the fourth inning to spoil Scandling's shutout bid. Jared Keller spoiled Scandling's no-hitter with a bloop single that fell just inside the foul line behind first base. Keller later scored on a hard single to right center field by Josh Robinson. Ketchikan had the bases loaded with one out, but Scandling got Ketchikan catcher Braden Sharp to hit into his second double play of the game.
"Ketchikan is a worthy opponent," Jim Ayers said. "Ketchikan was down, but fought back. We talked about not letting down, and we stayed with our game plan. I thinkt he guys came to play ball, and we played a lot better defense today. We worked a lot harder tonight."
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Jake Dutton hit a towering homer to left center field, a shot that was still climbing when it reached the trees behind the outside fence. C.J. Corso scored on an error when C.J. Keys reached base, then Scandling helped his cause by driving home Keys with the game's final run.
"What's important is we're 6-1 and climbing," Dutton said. "We haven't reached our pinnacle yet. What's important is we're winning, and we're winning as a team."
In Wednesday's game, every Juneau starter had at least one hit, one run and one RBI. Against Ketchikan, Juneau came close to matching that performance. Keys was the only player without a hit, but he did score once. Smith was the only player who didn't score, but he did have four RBIs. Six of the nine Juneau starters drove in runs, with Hickey and Kohan recording two RBIs each.
"I'm still trying to find my stroke and I'm swinging at pitches I shouldn't," Hickey said. "We're doing a great job of going through the lineup. We're scoring runs and that's what counts."
Juneau (6-1 overall) plays Sitka (2-5) again at 6 p.m. tonight, then plays Ketchikan (2-3) again at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Sitka and Ketchikan play each other two more times, at 3 p.m. today and 1 p.m. on Saturday.
In junior varsity action, Juneau's JV beat Ketchikan's JV 8-3 as Kyle Lanz tripled and scored three runs while combining with Zach Mixson on a one-hitter. Juneau's JV team also beat the Prince of Wales varsity team 11-4 as Keys, Jordan Davis and Sergio Magallanes scored two runs each. The Sitka JV crushed POW's varsity 12-1 in the day's other game.
Charles Bingham can be reached at email@example.com.
CRIMSON BEARS 13, KINGS 1
Thursday's game at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park
KETCHIKAN 000 10 -- 1 4 4
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 541 3x -- 13 12 0
(game called after five innings, mercy rule)
Ketchikan -- Mickel, Kr. Bailey (2), Norton (3) and Sharp. Juneau-Douglas -- Scandling and Smith. WP -- Scandling, 1-1. LP -- Mickel, 1-1. Sv -- None. 2B -- Ketchikan 0, Juneau-Douglas 2 (Smith 2). 3B -- None. HR -- Ketchikan 0, Juneau-Douglas 1 (Dutton 1).