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Bryn Calhoun threw a one-hitter and struck out nine batters as Sitka handed Juneau East its first loss of the tournament with a 4-0 victory in Saturday's final day of round-robin pool-play at the District 2-Southeast Major Division (age 11-12) Little League Baseball Tournament at Petersburg's Sandy Beach Park.
The victory by Sitka clinched the final spot in the two-team playoffs that starts at 3 p.m. this afternoon, with Sitka playing Juneau East in a best-two-games-out-of-three series after both teams completed the round-robin pool-play portion of the tourney with 5-1 records. Juneau East had already qualified for the playoffs with a victory on Friday. The playoff series continues with a 5 p.m. game on Monday and an if-necessary game at noon on Tuesday.
With Sitka's victory Saturday, the rest of the round-robin pool-play became a matter of pride as Ketchikan and Juneau West were eliminated from the playoffs. In Saturday's other games, Ketchikan beat Petersburg 7-0 and Juneau West beat Prince of Wales 14-4, giving Ketchikan and Juneau West 4-2 records. A Sitka loss on Saturday would have meant Ketchikan, Sitka and Juneau West would have needed a runs-allowed tiebreaker to break the three-way tie for the final playoff spot.
In the Sitka-Juneau East game, Jared Ingle and Alex Daily both drew bases-loaded walks in the first inning to give Sitka a 2-0 lead. Sitka scored two more runs in the second inning as Kory Hansen scored on Calhoun's comebacker to the mound and Ingle drew another bases-loaded walk. Juneau pitcher Clae Baker had nine strikeouts in his effort, plus he picked up Juneau's only hit, a single in the third inning.
In the Juneau West-Prince of Wales game, Juneau West took advantage of 11 hits and eight POW errors for the victory. Andrew Flansaas went 3-for-3 with a walk and four RBIs to lead Juneau West, while Buzz Ward went 2-for-2 with three RBIs and Zakary Kirkpatrick was 2-for-2 with two walks and one RBI. Ryan Cole had three RBIs and Scott Hamilton had one RBI to lead Prince of Wales.
On Friday, Juneau East allowed its first run of the tournament but held on to edge Ketchikan 2-1 to stay undefeated in the tourney. In Friday's other games, Sitka blanked Wrangell 14-0 and Juneau West beat Petersburg 14-2 to keep their playoff chances alive.
Juneau East pitcher Chris Hinkley allowed three hits and one first-inning run Friday, while striking out seven Ketchikan batters to pick up the victory on the mound. The Ketchikan run scored when Kaleb Williamson bunted and took second on an error, then scored when Ryan Simpson reached on an error. Juneau East tied the game in the second inning when Zach Heppner reached on a fielder's choice, went to second when Shawn Ibesate walked, stole third, then scored on a wild pitch. Juneau East scored the game-winning run with two outs in the fifth inning when Gary Stephens reached on an error, took second on a wild pitch, then scored on a single by Nathaniel Jacobsen, sliding across home plate as Ketchikan's catcher committed an error.
In Friday's other game involving a Gastineau Channel Little League team, Juneau West scored eight runs in the third inning as Jerry Spraggins led off with a double and scored on an RBI triple by Shane Rudd, who scored on a fielder's choice by Buzz Ward. Andrew Flansaas hit a two-run triple, while Zakary Kirkpatrick and Joe Kohan both hit RBI doubles.
AGE 9-10 DIVISION
Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League Age 9-10 All-Stars beat Wrangell 6-2 Friday in round-robin pool-play from the District 2-Southeast Age 9-10 Division Little League Baseball Tournament in Ketchikan. No results were available from Saturday's Juneau game.
With the victory, Juneau improved to 2-1 in the tournament after a tourney-opening loss to Ketchikan. The top two teams advance to the playoffs that start on Monday.
Geoffrey Craig hit a grand-slam, inside-the-park home run to lead Juneau, while Collin Monagle went 3-for-3 at the plate. Sean Bavard pitched five innings for Juneau, with Monagle pitching the sixth inning.