With solid contributions from its entire lineup, the Juneau Junior Baseball All Stars won the Alaska District 2 Little League Major Baseball title Saturday in Sitka.
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Juneau defeated Sitka 8-4 for the championship. After dropping the first game of the best-of-three series 2-1 on Thursday, Juneau rebounded to win Game 2 by a 15-2 score to force Saturday's decisive contest.
"They're pretty happy right now," Juneau manager Larry Neal said. "We're all pretty happy."
Damon Ludwig delivered the biggest blow for Juneau, smacking a three-run double in a five-run second innings.
Sitka led 2-0 after the first inning, but the second inning gave Juneau the momentum it needed.
Devan Neal, Brendan Daugherty and Miles Bedford scored two runs each while James San Miguel and Lance Ibesate added one run each in the win.
Colin Gozelski pitched five innings for the win while Ibesate made the lead stand with two innings of relief.
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"It was pretty intense for Lance Ibesate to close out the game," Larry Neal said. "Sitka gets into. They support their teams, I tell you what."
On Friday, Juneau routed Sitka 15-2. It was Juneau's first win over Sitka in the tournament.
Friday's win not only evened the series, but gave Juneau a shot of confidence.
"For us to get 15 runs was a huge confidence builder and might have set the tone for (Saturday's) game," Neal said. "It was a pretty exciting game."
Bedford allowed just three hits to earn the pitching win. He evened his record to 1-1 against Sitka after dropping a 7-1 decision on Tuesday.
"He came back and had an outstanding game," Neal said. "He really stepped up."
The team will stay in Sitka for the state championship tournament. The best-of-three series against the to-be-determined District 1 champs starts Tuesday.
Host Ketchikan won three straight games while facing elimination, culminating in a 15-10 victory over Juneau on Saturday for the Alaska District 2 Little League Senior Baseball title.
Ketchikan defeated previously unbeaten Juneau 11-2 on Friday to force the deciding game.
"Everybody played hard and everybody worked hard as a team," Juneau manager Tom Mayer said of his squad. "They played great defensively the whole tournament and worked as hard as we possibly could. But offensively we never really found a way to get everything going."
Juneau led 4-2 at one point but Ketchikan stormed back to seize a 15-4 lead.
Juneau eventually cut Ketchikan's lead to 15-10 and had the bases loaded with two outs in the seventh. Ketchikan, however, got the final out for the win.
"We made a big run at it in the end and we just ran out of outs," Mayer said.
Corey Mahar delivered a mammoth game for Juneau, going 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs.
Sean Bavard had two hits and a run scored, Dylan Baker and Mahar scored twice while Vinnie Isturis, Nick Smith, Josh Mayer and Beau Damian also scored in the loss.
Juneau East secured its place in the Alaska District 2 Little League Major Baseball semifinals with a 18-2 victory over Prince of Wales on Wednesday in Petersburg.
Demetrius Campos struck out five batters and allowed two hits in three innings for the win. Chatham Miller pitched a perfect fourth inning for Juneau East (4-1).
Gary Speck led Juneau East offensively with two hits, three runs scored and three RBIs. Kurt Vandor had two hits and two RBIs while Trey Williams and Ben Bullock each singled, walked and scored two runs.
Campos, Jackson Pavitt and Patrick Millay each walked and scored, Miller singled and scored, Phillip Fenumiai had two hits and two runs scored.
Miller and Bullock also combined in the infield to turn a double play for Juneau East. Dylan Johnson also contributed in the win.
Meanwhile, Juneau West kept its perfect record intact with wins Friday and Saturday.
Juneau West (5-0) beat Petersburg 10-0 as Jeffrey Pusich, Tannie Petrie, Kyle Gould and Christian Gould all combined on the shutout.
Zach Miller double and drove in three runs, Christian Gould had a triple and two RBIs and Jackson Lehnhart recorded three hits and scored two runs for Juneau West.
On Friday, eight players scored runs in Juneau West's 11-1 win over Ketchikan.
Ryan Kelly and Lehnhart combined on the hill for the win.
Offensively, Kyle Gould singled and scored two runs and Lehnhart doubled and scored twice.
Also for Juneau West (5-0), Pusich and Zach Miller each singled and scored while Kelly, Marc Heifetz, Duane Cooper, Derek Brobst and Torsten Fagerstrom scored one run each.
The Juneau Major Softball All-Stars got off to a rough start in the Alaska State Major Softball Little League tournament in Anchorage on Saturday.
Dimond-West, the District 1 champions, routed Juneau 15-5 in Game 1 of the best-of-three series.
"They jumped on us early, but we battled back and got up by three runs at one point but they beat us," Juneau manager Brian Buck said.
Malin Murray drove in two runs for Juneau while Ashley Buck and Cassidy Davenport each recorded an RBI. Davenport also stole home in defeat.
Contact sports editor Tim Nichols at 523-2228 and email@example.com.
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