Bears, Baker blank Kings

Posted: Friday, May 14, 2010

Juneau-Douglas raked 14 hits, including two round-trippers, and the Crimson Bears buried the punchless Ketchikan Kings 10-0 on Thursday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

JDHS starter Dylan Baker recorded double-digit strikeouts - 13 - for the second time in as many weeks against the Kings while pitching six innings of three-hit baseball. Baker matched Ketchikan's three hits with three of his own, including a solo jack to left in the fourth inning, and scored three runs for good measure. Baker has hit six home runs against Ketchikan in the last two weeks.

Baker said he felt like he could use his fastball as an out pitch whenever he needed to, and his curveball was working pretty well.

"It was a great game for us," Baker said. "The first couple of innings, I was feeling really tired. I don't know what was happening. But I calmed down and started feeling fine, and I felt like I was throwing a lot harder the last couple of innings.

"To 10-run a team in the first game of the home series is sweet. The whole team was hitting like crazy."

Bavard was pleased with the defensive performance behind Baker, as the Bears didn't commit any errors.

"The other coach (Dave Price) mentioned to me to that we play a lot better behind Baker, and he's right," Bavard said. "Baker's one of the captains and these guys come to play behind him, and we came to play tonight. It was a very good win."

Not to be outdone, senior catcher Aaron Cohen pounded out four hits and four RBIs, including a monster two-run blast over the fence in straightaway center to end the game in the sixth.

"That was one of the farthest balls I've ever hit, and it felt really good off the bat," Cohen said. "I was like, 'All right, all right. We're done; we're outta here.'"

Cohen lauded the team's lineup from top to bottom. Eight of the nine JDHS starters got at least one hit.

"Our team's been hitting really well all year, and we got production up and down the lineup today, which is really good to see coming into the end of the season," he said. "Everybody was seeing the ball and taking good hacks. Nobody was really chasing too many bad pitches and that's how you win games - hit the ball, score runs and play good defense, and Dylan shut the door."

Baker doubled down the left-field line to leadoff the bottom of the first inning, went to third on a groundout by Vinnie Isturis and scored on a single to left by Aaron Cohen, and JDHS led 1-0 after one inning of play.

The Bears led off the bottom of the second with three straight singles by Keath Flint, Jamie Daniel and Ryan Kelly to bring up Brendan Daugherty, who lined out to third, where Kings third baseman Chas Allen doubled up Flint.

But Lance Ibesate smoked two-run triple into the corner in left before being stranded at third, and JDHS led 3-0 after two.

While the Bears were busy plating runs, Baker was busy throwing strikes, notching two more punch outs in the top of the third, raising his total to six in three innings of work.

Isturis drew a walk to start the bottom of the third and then stole second, and Cohen drove him in with a standup double to left. Cleanup hitter Alex DeRocher laced a first-pitch RBI single straight up the middle, and then Flint reached base after right fielder Zachary Reinhardt couldn't reign in a blooper.

DeRocher went to third after Daniel hit into a 3-4 double play, and Kelly flew out to center to end the inning, but not before the Bears had put up two more runs to lead 5-0 after four.

The Kings got two hits to lead off the fourth, an infield single deep into the hole at short by Simon Brooks and a single to right by Erik Ruaro, but Baker struck out David Klein, got Chas Allen to ground out to third and then struck out Conor Fitzgerald swinging to end the threat.

Baker then helped his own cause, smashing a 1-1 pitch over the fence and into the trees in left after the Bears had gone down 1-2 to start the inning. The hit parade continued as Isturis and Cohen both singled, followed by an RBI single by DeRocher to score Isturis, and the Bears led 7-0 after four.

Jeff Whicker drew a one-out walk but was nailed at second after a bang-bang play at short that saw Isturis make a diving grab and throw to Ibesate to get the lead runner, and the Bears again escaped unscathed.

JDHS didn't score in the fifth but Baker continued to deal, striking out the side in the top of the sixth, and then picked up his third hit to lead off the bottom of the inning before stealing second and scoring when an Isturis slow roller down the left field line went under the glove of Allen.

Cohen then ended the game with a towering shot to straightaway center field.

"It was nice having the hometown fans behind us," Cohen said. "We've been in Sitka and Ketchikan the last couple of weeks and there's a lot of heckling and stuff. Out here, you get your friends yelling for you when you get to bat, and it's a lot of fun."

JDHS (9-0) is back at it today at 3 p.m. against Petersburg. The full slate of today's games is listed on B2.

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