Juneau moved within one win of the state Senior (ages 15-16) Little League Baseball tourney on Tuesday with a 7-3 victory over Ketchikan in the first game of their best-of-three District II championship series in Petersburg.
In other Little League games Tuesday, Juneau East and Juneau West both won their District II Majors (ages 11-12) tourney games at Wrangell. East beat Haines, 11-1, and West beat Wrangell, 14-2. This morning, Juneau West defeated Petersburg, 10-0, on a four-inning no-hitter by pitcher Shane Rud.
In the Senior tournament, the Gastineau Channel Little League All-Stars took advantage of an outstanding complete-game pitching performance by Mark Harmon to defeat Ketchikan, which had beaten Juneau on Saturday.
Harmon allowed just three hits and three unearned runs in the game, while collecting five strikeouts. He has not allowed an earned run in his last 11 innings, and has an ERA of 0.00 in the tourney.
On offense, Juneau was led by C.J. Keys, who went 3-for-3 with one run and two RBI; Chance Millay, who went 1-for-4 with a home run; and Brian Whistler, who finished the game 2-for-4 with a double and one run scored.
Juneau scored two runs in each of the first three innings, and added its final run in the fourth.
Juneau manager Bill McCauley reported several key defensive plays by his team, including a 6-4-3 double play to get out of the first inning. In the third inning, Keys, playing at second base, made a diving backhand stab at a ball hit up the middle and successfully threw from the ground to shortstop Erik Scholl to force out a Ketchikan runner at second. First baseman Chris Dillon made a similar play in the fifth inning on a ball hit to his right, throwing to Harmon, covering first, for the out.
Ketchikan picked up one run in the fourth and added two on a Juneau error in the sixth, but Harmon closed out the game with a 1-2-3 seventh. He threw 130 pitches in the game.
The Juneau Senior team will play Ketchikan in the second game of their series at 5 p.m. today. The winner of the best-of-three series will stay in Petersburg for the state tourney July 20-25, and the winner of the state tourney advances to the Northwest Regional in Missoula, Mont.
In Majors play Tuesday in Wrangell, Juneau East defeated Haines, 11-1, in game called after four innings on the 10-run mercy rule. Pitcher Bubba Larson picked up the win and Dylan Listberger closed out the game for Juneau.
Juneau East's William Nielsen went 3-for-3 in the game, including a double and a triple, and he scored three runs. Jonathan Davis added a double and Zach Heppner a triple for Juneau.
Juneau East plays Prince of Wales this afternoon.
Juneau West defeated Wrangell, 14-2, in six innings on Tuesday, using strong offensive performances from a number of players.
Joe Kohan went 5-for-5 and scored four runs, while also collecting 11 strikeouts in four innings of pitching. Manager Chris Monagle said Kohan's play was "amazing."
Buzz Ward went 4-for-4 for Juneau, Collin Monagle went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and Shane Rud finished the game 2-for-3 with three runs scored. Monagle pitched the last two innings for Juneau West.
This morning, Juneau West shut out Petersburg, 10-0, in a game called after four innings due to the 10-run mercy rule. Juneau pitcher Shane Rud did not allow a hit in the game.
Rud helped his cause with a three-run homer in the fourth. More details on the game will be included in Thursday's Empire.
Juneau West is now 3-0 and Juneau East 2-0 in the tourney.
In other Majors games from Tuesday, Sitka defeated Prince of Wales, 11-1, and Ketchikan beat Petersburg, 8-3.