Juneau's American Legion Post 25 Midnight Suns played a doubleheader Saturday, beating Bartlett 6-5 in the early game and losing to Chugiak 4-2 in the nightcap.
Juneau's record is now 15-10 overall and 8-3 against Alaska's American Legion teams.
Bartlett, the leading District I (Anchorage) team, managed just three hits against a host of Juneau pitchers. Will Nicholas started the game and pitched into the third inning before being relieved by Bud Baun who got the win. Lopaka Pavitt, Nick Wolf and Zach Kohan all lended a hand in relief in the game's later stages.
It was a close game, with Juneau and Bartlett matching runs in the first and third innings until Bartlett took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth.
Juneau responded with a lead-off single by Joe Ayers, followed by a single from Nick Wolf and a base on balls by Evan Scandling to load the bases. Bryson Buck, who has been on a hitting tear lately, kept his bat hot and knocked a double into left centerfield, clearing the bases to make it 5-3.
Later in the fifth, Kohan scored from second on a single by Steve Hartrich to give the Midnight Suns a 6-3 lead that they would never give up.
Bartlett rallied in the seventh inning. Pavitt walked the first batter and was relieved by Wolf, who hit the next batter, followed by a walk to load the bases. Bartlett scored its first run on an error by Kohan at third and one more when Wolf beaned yet another batter.
"We were in control the whole way," coach Bruce Scandling said. "Then we looked up and it was bases loaded and nobody out."
Kohan replaced Wolf on the mound and got out of the inning without any further damage, saving the game for Juneau by striking out the first batter and making the next two pop up.
"It was a gutsy little performance by Kohan to come in like that," Bruce Scandling said. "It got kind of ugly for a while, but Zach came in a preserved the win for us."
Juneau ran into some tough pitching against Chugiak in the second game, eking out only three hits in the contest.
Juneau's only runs came in the third inning when Ayers singled and Evan Scandling homered to tie the game at that point. But too many walks and errors gave the Midnight Suns no chance to catch Chugiak, which played a solid game and committed no errors.
"It was one of those games where our pitchers did a good job, but we just walked too many," Bruce Scandling said. "Of their four runs, three were from walks and the other from an error. Their pitcher threw a real good game for them."
Wolf added a double for Juneau's only other hit in the game.
Kalen Meek started the game and took the loss, pitching into the fifth inning before being relieved by Buck who was relieved shortly after by Pavitt.
"We're 8-3 and we're feeling good," coach Jim Ayers said. "It was good baseball and the guys all did their jobs. I used seven pitchers in two games to keep them fresh for the games against Fairbanks this week."
Juneau plays Service today at Kosinski Fields at 6 p.m. Monday, Juneau travels to Fairbanks for two games at Arco Field on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Midnight Suns 6, Bartlett 5
Saturday's game at Kosinski Fields
Bartlett 101 010 2 -- 5 3 2
Midnight Suns 101 040 X -- 6 9 2
Nicholas, Baun (3), Pavitt (6), Wolf (7), Kohan (7) and Wolf, Baun (6); Ridley, Thomas (1) and Morun. WP -- Baun. LP -- Thomas. SV -- Kohan. 2B -- Midnight Suns: Buck, Scandling. Bartlett: Bidle. 3B -- None. HR -- None.
Chugiak 4, Midnight Suns 2
Saturday's game at Kosinski Fields
Midnight Suns 002 000 0 -- 2 3 3
Chugiak 200 110 X -- 4 2 0
Ramy and Rivera. Meek, Buck (5), Pavitt (5) and Baun. WP -- Ramy. LP -- Meek. 2B -- Midnight Suns: Wolf. Chugiak: None. 3B -- None. HR -- Midnight Suns: Scandling. Chugiak: None.
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