Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League Majors Division All-Stars waited until the fifth inning to break up a pitchers' duel, but then exploded for six runs as the All-Stars blanked Sitka 6-0 to claim the District 2-Southeast Majors Division (age 11-12) Little League Baseball Tournament championship Tuesday in Petersburg.
Chris Hinkley pitched what Juneau coach Bob Cramer said might be his best game of the season to lead the GCLL All-Stars, allowing just one hit, a triple to Sitka's Bryn Calhoun with two outs in the first inning. He walked the Sitka's cleanup hitter, Matt Loucks, then was perfect the rest of the game. Hinkley struck out seven Sitka batters.
In the meantime, Sitka pitcher Erik Buggins was holding Juneau to just one hit, a lead-off bunt single by Nico Saldivar, until the fifth inning.
In the fifth inning, Juneau had runners on first and third with two outs when the All-Stars began their rally. Saldivar singled to knock home Erik Greiner, then Bobby Cramer scored on a passed ball to make it 2-0. Nano Jacobsen doubled home Saldivar, Gary Stephens walked and Shawn Ibesate singled in Jacobsen. Greiner then drove in Stephens and Ibesate with a single to cap the scoring. Juneau's rally ended when Hinkley was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a passed ball.
In the sixth inning, Hinkley fielded a grounder by Buggins, then got Orion Hughes-Knowles and Calhoun to both ground out to Jacobsen at shortstop.
Juneau now heads to Anchorage for the Alaska State Majors Division Little League Baseball Tournament, and Juneau opens play Saturday after a first-round bye on Friday.
AGE 9-10 DIVISION
Jon Davis picked up the shutout as Juneau blanked Ketchikan 11-0 to claim the District 2-Southeast Age 9-10 Division Baseball Tournament title Tuesday in Ketchikan.
Geoffrey Craig hit a three-run triple in the fourth inning to lead Juneau at the plate, while Collin Monagle's two-run double in the fifth inning ended the game on the 10-run rule. Sean Bavard had two hits, while Alex Fagerstrom, Jake Hotch, Torey Franzen all had singles for Juneau, which will not participate in the state tournament.