Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League Junior Division All-Stars broke up a no-hit bid in the sixth inning and went on to claim a 2-0 victory over Petersburg in a pitchers' duel Monday at Sitka's Moeller Field.
Monday's victory landed Juneau into today's 6 p.m. District II-Southeast Junior Division Little League championship game against Ketchikan, which eliminated Petersburg 22-0 on Tuesday night. Tonight's game will be broadcast on KINY, 800-AM. An if-necessary game is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, should Juneau lose tonight's game.
"We're feeling good. I think we're all ready for this," Juneau coach Chip Mixson said. "We've had some good games and we've been tested. We caught Petersburg's and Sitka's No. 1's (top pitchers), and Ketchikan benefited from that."
Petersburg pitcher Bryce Covington had a no-hitter going through five complete innings Monday, but Juneau finally broke through in the sixth. Rob Lindsey reached on an error, then went to second on Ryan Gorle's single, Juneau's first hit of the game. Juneau pitcher Wesley Hayden moved Lindsey to third and Gorle to second base with a sacrifice bunt. Then Zach Mixson's infield single brought home Lindsey, and Matt Decker's single scored Gorle to make it 2-0 Juneau.
Hayden threw the first six innings for Juneau, striking out 10 batters and walking just one while giving up three singles. Mixson closed out the game, striking out two batters in the seventh to pick up the save.
Covington threw a complete game for Petersburg, allowing just the three sixth-inning singles by Juneau while striking out four and walking one. Juneau had several runners reach on errors - two in the second inning, one in the third, one in the fifth and one in the sixth - but Covington was able to escape the jams.
Earlier in the tournament, Juneau needed extra innings to edge Ketchikan 6-5 and to beat Sitka 4-3. By staying in the winners' bracket of the double-elimination tournament, Juneau earned off days on Sunday and Tuesday while the other teams played elimination games. Chip Mixson said that helped Juneau be able to set up its pitching for tonight's championship game, when he expects to start Zach Mixson. Chip Mixson said Ketchikan has had to play more games, but won by large margins and that enabled Ketchikan to arrange its rotation so its ace will be available.
"They were able to throw a lot of one-inning guys, so they've got everybody available," Mixson said. "We've got everybody but Wesley Hayden available."
JUNEAU-GCLL 2, PETERSBURG 0
Monday's game at Sitka's Moeller Field
JUNEAU-GCLL 000 002 0 -- 2 3 1
PETERSBURG 000 000 0 -- 0 3 6
Hayden, Z. Mixson (7) and Dillon; Covington and Edfelt. WP -- Hayden. LP -- Covington. Sv -- Z. Mixson. 2B -- None. 3B -- None. HR -- None.