Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League Junior Division All-Stars loaded the bases with one out in the seventh inning, but couldn't get a run across as they fell 3-2 to Ketchikan Wednesday in what was supposed to be the championship game of the District 2-Southeast Junior Division (age 13-14) Little League Tournament at Moller Park in Sitka.
Juneau's loss forces an if-necessary game between Ketchikan and Juneau at 6 p.m. tonight at Moller Park. Tonight's game will be broadcast on KINY, 800-AM. The winner of tonight's game will qualify for the Alaska State Junior Division Little League Tournament, which starts this weekend in Sitka. Earlier in the tournament Juneau beat Ketchikan 6-5 in eight innings.
"This was one of those games where if you don't execute the fundamentals, you don't win," Juneau coach Chip Mixson said. "I think it will be another tight game tonight, and whoever executes will go to state."
Ketchikan took a 3-0 lead after it scratched out single runs in the first, fourth and sixth innings against Juneau pitcher Zach Mixson. In the first inning, Jesse LeBeau scored on a grounder to short by Brandon Eubanks. In the fourth, Corey Howe drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home Casey Bass. And in the sixth, Mike Meacock scored on a grounder to third by Ricky Graham.
For the second straight night, Juneau's offense struggled and didn't get a hit until the sixth inning. Brad Pahang held Juneau hitless through five innings, but Juneau scratched out two runs off reliever Tyler Richardson in the sixth inning.
Zach Mixson broke up the no-hit bid with a single to lead off the inning, then took second on a walk to Matt Decker. Chris Dillon singled down the rightfield foul line, but Chip Mixson said he held Zach Mixson at third only to have Decker charging into the base and Dillon on his way to second. Zach Mixson started toward home, then came back to third in a rundown and was tagged out as Decker returned to second base and Dillon returned to first. After a strikeout, Steve Shaishnikoff reached on an error that scored both Decker and Dillon for Juneau's only runs of the game.
"It was one of those situations where you had all the baserunners running around, trying to figure out where they needed to be going," Chip Mixson said of the baserunning adventure.
Shane Rudd hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning as the Juneau West Major Division All-Stars knocked Ketchikan from the District 2-Southeast Major Division (age 11-12) Little League Tournament's unbeaten ranks with a 3-1 victory Wednesday at Sandy Beach in Petersburg.
In other round-robin pool play action Wednesday, undefeated Sitka beat Prince of Wales 12-2 and home team Petersburg claimed its first victory of the tourney with a 9-4 decision over Wrangell. Juneau East had a bye Wednesday and remains tied with Sitka atop the standings with perfect 3-0 records. Juneau West and Ketchikan both have 2-1 records, while Petersburg and Prince of Wales are both 1-3 and Wrangell is 0-4. The top two teams after pool play will start a best-two-of-out-of-three-game series on Sunday.
Jerry Spraggins went the distance for Juneau West on Wednesday, striking out five batters over six innings. Trevor Norton struck out 10 batters for Ketchikan, plus he escaped a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the top of the sixth inning as Buzz Ward caught the final out on the warning track to strand the three Juneau West baserunners.
AGE 9-10 DIVISION
Ketchikan scored two runs in the sixth inning as it rallied for a 3-2 victory over Juneau in Wednesday's opening round of the Age 9-10 Division Little League Tournament at Walker Field in Ketchikan.
Juneau led 2-1 entering the sixth inning, but couldn't close out the victory. Colin Monagle started for Juneau and pitched into the sixth, with Sean Bavard and Jon Davis closing it out. Blaine White pitched all six innings for Ketchikan. Alex Fagerstrom, Torey Franzen, Bavard and Davis had hits for Juneau, which plays Petersburg at 3 p.m. today in a losers' bracket game.
KETCHIKAN 3, JUNEAU-GCLL 2
Wednesday's Junior Division game from Sitka
KETCHIKAN 100 101 0 -- 3 4 3
JUNEAU-GCLL 000 002 0 -- 2 2 5
Pahang, Richardson (6) and Brown; Z. Mixson and Dillon. WP -- Pahang. LP -- Z. Mixson. SV-- Richardson. 2B -- None. 3B -- None. HR -- None.