Juneau East, West win in Major Baseball

In Junior Baseball championship round, Sitka beats Juneau in Game 1

Posted: Friday, July 20, 2007

Juneau East rebounded nicely from Wednesday's loss with a 13-6 win over Haines in the Alaska District 2 Little League Major Baseball Tournament in Petersburg.

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Juneau East (3-1) fell to Juneau West 13-2 on Wednesday.

"I think we're still putting the bat on the ball," Juneau East manager Mark Millay said. "We're getting some good pitching from some kids like Dylan Johnson. He's pitching pretty good and holding it down. We have a lot of little fill-in pitchers helping out."

Millay's team sits in second place in the seven-team field.

Juneau East is off today and will play winless Prince of Wales at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Juneau West (3-0) remained perfect Thursday with a 12-2 victory over Prince of Wales in four innings.

"The team is playing with a lot of heart, energy and passion for the game," Juneau West manager Mark Pusich said. "We practiced really hard in the pouring-down rain and got ready for the tournament. We went to All Star boot camp for a couple weeks."

Jeffrey Pusich and Marc Heifetz combined on the hill for the pitching win. The duo limited Prince of Wales to one hit.

Prince of Wales struck for two runs in the top of the first inning, but Juneau West responded with 12 uncontested runs. Juneau West scored four in the first inning, three in the second and five in the third.

Heifetz doubled and drove in four runs, Jeffrey Pusich had a single and two RBIs and Ryan Kelly scored three runs and hit a single in the win. Also for Juneau West, Kyle Gould doubled and scored twice, Duane Cooper had a single and two runs while Jackson Lehnhart and Christian Gould scored one run each.

None of Juneau West's three wins have gone past four innings. The team takes on Ketchikan (2-1) at 6 p.m. today.

In Sitka, a pair of early unearned runs lifted Sitka past Juneau 2-1 in Game 1 of the District 2 Junior Baseball championship round.

Sitka scored unearned runs in the first and second inning to take a 2-0 lead.

"It was a pretty tough one," Juneau manager Larry Neal said.

Damon Ludwig pitched 5⅓ innings of shutout relief for Juneau to keep the game close.

Juneau got a run back in the fourth inning as Lance Ibesate scored from third on Brendan Daugherty's bases-loaded bunt.

Juneau performed well offensively, recording six hits in the win.

Justin Brooks went 2-for-3, Damon Ludwig went 1-for-3 with a double while James San Miguel, Colin Gozelski and Daugherty all singled in defeat.

"The bats woke up a little bit better tonight," Neal said. "We had running in scoring position, but we didn't capitalize. ... It was a heartbreaker."

Juneau must win two straight games to capture the district title. Game 2 is at 6 p.m. tonight. If Juneau wins, Game 3 is slated for 6 p.m. Saturday in Sitka.

In the District 2 Senior Baseball tournament, Juneau will take on host Ketchikan at 6 p.m. tonight for the championship. Ketchikan must beat Juneau twice to win the tournament.

• Contact Tim Nichols, sports editor, at 523-2228 or sports@juneauempire.com.

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