Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau-Douglas High School Yadaa.at Kalé baseball team opened their state baseball championship quest with a 3-0 win over Dimond High School on Thursday at Anchorage’s Mulcahy Stadium.
Juneau-Douglas senior pitcher Garrett Bryant and senior battery mate catcher Brock McCormick shut down the powerful Anchorage school and each of their Crimson Bears teammates stood up to the challenge of facing a top ace from the opposite dugout.
“We came out and played hard,” Juneau-Douglas coach Chad Bentz said. “We played really good defense. We made some physical errors and gave them some opportunities to extend innings but Garrett (Bryant) did a really good job of not letting that happen.”
Bryant threw six innings, allowing just two hits and striking out eight batters while walking four.
“Garrett had another great outing and I was real proud of him,” Bentz said. “He gave us six solid innings.”
Junior Kai Schmidt came on to close in the top of the seventh and delivered strikes that resulted in his infield having some easy fielding practice.
Sophomore second baseman Caden Mesdag played a ground ball and threw to senior first baseman Christian Ludeman for the first out of the seventh. After Schmidt smudged a Dimond uniform and put a runner on base Mesdag fielded another grounder and flipped it to junior shortstop Gavin Millard for out two.
Schmidt than struck out the final Lynx batter.
“I had no doubt,” Bentz said. “I called in Kai (Schmidt) and Kai threw strikes. That was what we were looking for and he did a great job.”
The Crimson Bears put their first two runs on the board in the bottom of the second inning.
Ludeman led off with a walk, advanced to second on a Bryant fly ball to left field and scored on a single by senior Olin Rawson.
One out later Schmidt hit a hard line drive single to score Bryant.
The Crimson Bears added their final run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Sophomore Kaleb Campbell doubled, advanced on a Schmidt ground out and scored on a single by junior Porter Nelson.
“There is not an easy out in our line up,” Bentz said. “And we are fortunate to have that. Every guy can swing the bat. Every guy can put down a bunt if we ask him to. We are extremely fortunate to have that as an offense.
Schmidt, Rawson, and Nelson had one RBI each.
Rawson, Schmidt, Nelson, Mesdag, Campbell and McCormick had one hit each.
Ludeman, Bryant and Campbell scored one run each.
The Crimson Bears will play in a semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday against the South Anchorage Wolverines.
South defeated Wasilla 10-0 on Thursday.
In other state action Eagle River defeated Sitka 12-1 and Colony topped Chugiak 6-2. Eagle River plays Colony in a semifinal on Friday at 4 p.m. and Sitka and Chugiak play in a consolation bracket elimination game. Wasilla and Dimond also play a consolation bracket game.
In the Division II state tournament North Pole beat Petersburg 4-0, Kodiak nipped Homer 3-2, Soldotna topped Monroe 8-4 and Palmer defeated Grace Christian 12-1.
Above - Juneau-Douglas junior Kai Schmidt connects on a pitch during the Crimson Bears win over the Dimond Lynx at Anchorage's Mulcahy Stadium on Thursday. Below - Juneau-Douglas junior Gavin Millard turns a double play during the Crimson Bears win over the Dimond Lynx at Anchorage's Mulcahy Stadium on Thursday. (Klas Stolpe / KINY)