While the entire Juneau-Douglas bench bit their lips, pitcher Sean Bavard broke the silence about his perfect game in progress.
"When I was about to go out there in the fifth inning, I said something about it," Bavard said. "Everybody started punching me because I said I had a perfect game going."
Four pitches later, Colony third baseman Colter Peterson hit a hard grounder that got past diving efforts by third baseman Vinnie Isturis and shortstop Joe Kohan for a base hit.
"Yeah, I jinxed it," Bavard said with a laugh.
That hit was the only blemish on Bavard's record as he led the Crimson Bears to a 10-0, five inning win over Colony in the semifinals of the ASAA State High School Baseball Tournament Friday evening at Growden Memorial Park.
"He pitched his butt off," Juneau coach Jaime Kissner said. "It was fantastic."
"Sean came out and had command of a couple pitches." he said. "His fastball was working; he was able to locate that. His curveball was probably his out pitch. He used that in some full counts, and I don't think (the Knights) were expecting that."
The victory sent Juneau to the all-Southeast championship game against Sitka at 5 p.m. today.
Bavard's seven-strikeout performance didn't have to be perfect.
Juneau's offense gave him ample room, led by catcher Aaron Cohen, who knocked a solo home run over the left- field fence into a stiff breeze. He drove in three runs and scored three more, going 2-for-2. Center fielder Corey Mahir had two RBI with two base hits. Isturis and first baseman Buzz Ward drove in one run apiece.
"Offensively, we poured it on. We scored every inning." Kissner said. "It's easy to win when we score every inning."
In addition to their performance at the plate, the Crimson Bears also scored with aggressive base running. They scored two runs in the first inning without a hit, taking advantage of a passed ball on a third strike that extended the inning.
"The kids are aggressive, reading the balls in the dirt, and taking extra bases when there's the opportunity," Kissner said.
The Knights' offense, which produced 10 runs in the first inning of a 16-12 win over West Valley Thursday night, was unable to keep up the pace.
"We didn't get off to a good start and (Juneau) just continued to build on theirs," Colony coach Jamie Mayo said. "Their emotions went up and ours went down - then ours came up again, but too late."
Mayo said Bavard was the main reason the Knights could not get going from the batter's box.
"He did a great job of throwing strikes and mixing his speeds up," he said.
Colony pitcher Matt Packa threw five innings, allowing eight hits, six earned runs, one strikeout and one walk.
"There was probably half a dozen mental errors made, losing sight of what's going on, losing focus," Mayo said.
Mayo said he hopes the Knights can regain focus and learn from their mistakes when they play North Pole at 2:30 p.m. today in the third-place game.
Joshua Armstrong, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner staff writer, can be contacted at 907-459-7589.
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