In a late thriller at Glacier Valley Elementary's Miller Field, Juneau West defeated Ketchikan 13-7.
Threatening to hand over control of the game to Ketchikan in the top of the second inning, Juneau West turned to R.J. Markovich to dig them out of a bases loaded, two out pinch. Markovich delivered and over the next four innings, blazed through Ketchikan's batting order, chucking 87 pitches and totaling six strikeouts.
"We were searching for someone to come in, bear down and throw strikes, and shut the door," said head coach John Grummett. "He did a great job."
Plagued by six walks in the second inning, Ketchikan erased a 3-0 deficit and took a 4-3 lead behind Kable Lervick. Lervick plated two runs with a line drive over the shortstop for a double and the offense also tallied runs off fielding errors by West's defense.
West took no time to respond as Ryan Lee and Tanner Petrie both went deep again for the second night in a row. Both were three-run shots and put Juneau back in the lead for good 9-4 after three.
Lervick stunned Juneau again in the third inning with a three run homer that banged off a mini-van parked behind the left-field fence, but 9-7 was as close as Ketchikan would get.
"It was kind of back and forth there in the middle of the game and our guys focused and put the bat on the ball and good things happened for us tonight," Grummett said.
West's Tod Baseden went 3 for 4 with three singles and his speedy base running added a couple of runs for his team while providing a constant irritation to Ketchikan's defense.
Wednesday, July 16
Sitka 11, Petersburg 0
Sitka's pitcher Joey Inman went the whole four innings.
Sitka had two home runs, one by Brian Way in the first inning, and the other by Erikson Fish had one in the third inning.
"The defense was good, infield played good," said Sitka coach Jim Way. "Outfield played good."
Jaren Sumauang had a double.
Tuesday, July 15
Juneau East 14, Haines 4
Juneau East won its opening game against Haines 15-4. Gus Swanton had 6 Ks and recorded the win while Collin Ludeman pitched in relief.
Kenny Fox went 4-4 with a double, five RBIs and two runs scored. Travis Duvernay, Jake Macaulay and Dustin Rumfelt all tripled in the win.
"Defensively, Juneau East's Tal Norvell made an amazing grab at shortstop to stop a Haines rally in the fifth inning," said Juneau East coach Jeremy Ludeman.
Alaska District 2 Little League Baseball is hosting the Senior Baseball Tournament in Ketchikan this year.
Sitka and Ketchikan, the only Southeast teams, are playing the best of five series.
On Tuesday, Ketchikan blanked Sitka1-0. Games will continue through Saturday.
Wednesday, July 16
Juneau 21, Ketchikan 5
Nine errors and 13 walks killed Ketchikan's hopes of advancing to the championship round, and contributed to a 21-5 loss to Juneau at Norman Walker Field in Ketchikan. Juneau will now face Sitka in a best-of-three championship starting Thursday at 6 p.m. at Norman Walker Field.
Juneau only got one hit in the fifth inning. Yet, it scored 12 of 21 runs to help end the game due to the 10-run mercy rule. Eleven walks, two errors and one hit-batter combined to increase Juneau's lead from 9-3 at the start of the inning, to 21-3 by the end of it.
Ketchikan's pitchers combined to allow six hits and struck out four Juneau hitters, but every member of the Juneau team reached base at least once. Juneau's Jack Grummett and Lance Ibesate each singled, and Chris Luck and Matt Vandor both came up with two hits. Ibesate reached base four times and Luck reached base in each of his five at-bats.
Brady Groghan also reached base three times, twice on error and once by walking.
Juneau's pitching combined to allow five hits while walking two batters and striking out two.
Ibesate pitched the first one and two-thirds innings, allowing no hits while striking out two batters. With Juneau leading 5-0, Jeffrey Pusich replaced him in the second inning and hit the first two batters he faced, and walked another to diminish Juneau's lead to 5-2. Ryan Kelly then replaced Pusich and got out of the inning with the bases loaded. He pitched the three and one-third innings, allowing one run on three hits while walking one.
Courtesy of Brad Cohen, daily news sports editor for the Ketchikan Daily News.