The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears brought themselves within one win of clinching a state berth with a 14-1 win over Thunder Mountain on Thursday afternoon in Sitka.
Junior left-hander Miles Bedford got the start for the Bears on the hill, making his first appearance of the season since a collarbone injury suffered in April sidelined him for seven weeks.
Bedford looked sharp in firing 3 2-3 innings of no-hit baseball, issuing three walks and fanning four Falcon hitters.
"It felt really good to come out and help my team," Bedford said. "Being on the sidelines, I still felt like part of the team, but I felt like I was more involved today and it really felt good to contribute. My collarbone feels great and I could have gone a little more, but I was going against medical advice with the start so I thought it would be safe to keep it under 50 pitches."
Dylan Baker got the scoring started for Juneau-Douglas with a solo homer to left in the bottom half of the first inning. Vinnie Isturis followed with a walk, advanced to second on an errant pickoff attempt and scored on an RBI double by Aaron Cohen.
Keath Flint followed with a walk and helped score Cohen after getting into a run down between first and second base to give the Bears a 3-0 lead after one inning of play.
Xavier Dunn reached base for the Falcons in the second after drawing a walk but was thrown out attempting to steal second.
The Bears tacked on a run in the bottom half of the second as Brendan Daugherty singled, moved to third on wild pitches and then scored on a groundout by Domonic Holloway.
JDHS added another run in the third as Alex DeRocher walked, followed by a Flint single. Damon Ludwig plated DeRocher with a long single off the center-field fence, giving Juneau-Douglas a 5-0 lead.
The Falcons brought across a run in the top half of the fourth after a Crimson Bear throwing error that forced Flint off the bag at first and allowed Chris Luck to score from second base, narrowing the deficit to 5-1.
The Bears' bats exploded in the fourth with a nine-run inning to put the game away.
Lance Ibesate started the inning with a leadoff walk, Baker was hit by a pitch and Isturis laced an RBI single up the middle, pushing the lead to 6-1.
Cohen followed with a three-run bomb over the fence in right-center to give JDHS a 9-1 lead.
Flint tripled down the right-field line to score DeRocher, who had reached on an error, and Ryan Kelley poked an RBI single to left to score Flint.
Holloway added to the lead with a two-run, opposite-field single, scoring Kelley and Justin Brooks, who had reached on an error, and another TMHS error helped bring in Holloway to cap the scoring at 14-1.
Alex Campbell and James San Miguel combined to pitch 1 1-3 innings of shutout relief, and the Bears cruised the rest of the way to improve their record to 16-0 on the year.
Co-Captain Aaron Cohen, who finished with four RBIs in the win, said he was pleased with his team's performance.
"We came out a little flat and we weren't really clicking offensively or defensively the first couple innings, but coach got fired up and got in our faces," he said. "That really hit home with everyone and we started picking it up. We scored nine runs in that fourth inning, which just shows what our team can do."
JDHS faces Sitka today at 3 p.m., while TMHS takes on Ketchikan at noon.
Juneau Empire ©2014. All Rights Reserved.