The Juneau-Douglas High School baseball team honored its seniors Saturday, but the whole team contributed to its 4-3 comeback win over Ketchikan High School.
Sound off on the important issues at
The Crimson Bears (12-4, 5-3 Southeast) rallied from a two-run deficit to force extra innings. Nano Jacobsen laced the game-winning single down the left field line, driving in Ryan Beason with the winning run.
"The whole team stepped up, it wasn't just the seniors," Jacobsen said. "Everyone stayed loud in the dugout."
Sophomore pitcher Sean Bavard delivered a big-time performance in a key game for JDHS.
Relying primarily on his curve ball, the Kings struggled to pick up on Bavard's pitches. The sophomore struck out seven batters in six innings, allowing three runs on three hits.
"I think we wanted to win this game badly," Bavard said.
Ketchikan started to catch up to Bavard in the sixth inning. Tied 1-1, Eric Bezenek led off with a double and later scored on an error. John Thompson also reached on an error and came around to score to put the Kings up 3-1.
The two-run deficit appeared to be all Trevor Norton needed. Norton showed tremendous grit and guile for the Kings. He threw all eight innings, showcasing an array of pitches. Norton didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning and gave up just two earned runs off three hits.
"Trevor Norton is a guy with some talent and a lot of heart," JDHS coach Jim Ayers said. "The kid threw well over 120 pitches and was in the game all the time. He's tough."
Shane Rud got the first hit off Norton in the bottom of the sixth with a pinch-hit leadoff double. Pinch runner Jamie Daniel came around to score on an error to cut the Kings' lead to 3-2.
In the seventh, a perfectly executed suicide squeeze play forced extra innings.
With Corey Mahar on third base and Dylan Baker on first, Clae Baker failed to connect on a big swing. On the following pitch, the 6-foot-6 Baker laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt as Mahar sprinted home with the equalizing run.
"We let him have the big swing and he took it, which was perfect," Ayers said. "We told him if he didn't hit it out he was going to score the run. The job was either hit it in the outfield or hit on the run."
JDHS won the game in the eighth as Beason reached second on an error with two outs. Jacobsen then drove him home with the winning run.
"My best friend is on second base, and I was like this has got to end," Jacobsen said. "I was sitting dead-red fastball. Trevor is a great pitcher so if he leaves a fastball over the plate I'm going to try and do my best with it."
Beason not only scored the winning run but picked up the pitching win.
The senior reliever pitched two perfect innings to close out the Kings.
"It was an amazing game," Beason said. "One I'll remember for my last game in Juneau."
JDHS went up 1-0 in the fourth when Shawn Ibesate was hit by a pitch and came around on two wild pitches to score.
Ketchikan knotted it up in the fifth as Chris Loughman doubled home Nick Fama.
The win put Juneau in first place in the Southeast Conference, one game ahead of the Kings.
Ketchikan will host JDHS and Sitka High School for the final four-game series of the regular season next weekend.
Earlier Saturday, Juneau-Douglas staged another comeback as it beat Sitka 7-4.
Down 4-2 in the fifth inning, Cohen hit a two-run double, and Jacobsen singled home Joe Kohan to give JDHS the lead.
Juneau tacked on two more runs in the sixth to seal the win.
Kohan went 3-for-3 in the win with a two-run home run in the third, an RBI triple and three runs scored. Cohen went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Clae Baker struck out 10 batters for the complete game win.
Ibesate also had an RBI single for Juneau.
The win avenged Friday's 8-5 loss to the two-time defending state champion Wolves.
Sitka broke open a 5-5 tie with three runs in the fifth for the win.
Jaocb Houston went 4-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs for Sitka, Sean O'Neill and Erik Buggins had two hits each, and Matt Loucks hit a two-run home run.
For the Bears, Kohan led off the first with a solo home run, Ibesate singled and scored, Jacobsen hit an RBI double, Rud singled and scored, and Andrew Hall went 1-for-1 with a run scored.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at email@example.com.