Crimson Bears Take Region Title, Look to State

    The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears baseball team will begin state tournament play on Thursday, at 7 p.m., at Anchorage's Mulcahy Stadium. (Klas Stolpe / KINY)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau-Douglas High School Kalé boys baseball team won the Region V championship on Saturday with a 12-2 win over Sitka on the road, and will represent Southeast in the state tournament beginning Thursday at Anchorage’s Mulcahy Stadium.

      “They played well,” Juneau-Douglas coach Chad Bentz said. “They are starting to put it all together. Especially after that Ketchikan game.”

      The Crimson Bears opened regions at Sitka’s Moller Field with a scare, but a win, defeating Ketchikan 4-0.

      Senior Garrett Bryant went 6.2 innings for the win. He threw 121 pitches and allowed just two hits while striking out 11 Kayhi Kings and walking four.

      “Our bats were a little timid,” Bentz said. “Garrett wasn’t as sharp as he usually is but I told him, ‘You put up zeros on the scoreboard and that is your job.’ And he did a great job of doing that.”

      Seniors Brock McCormick and Christian Ludeman led with one RBI apiece. Sophomore Caden Mesdag, and juniors Gavin Millard and Porter Nelson led with two hits each. Mesdag, Millard, McCormick and Nelson scored one run each.

      The Crimson Bears next defeated Thunder Mountain 13-1, including a 10-run third inning that shortened the game to just a five-inning stretch.

      McCormick threw the complete game, allowing just two hits and the one run while striking out five and walking two.

    Bryant led the Crimson Bears bats, going 3-3 with three RBI and scoring one run. Mesdag, Millard, Ludeman and junior Kai Schmidt scored two runs each.

      Juneau-Douglas had no problem with Sitka in the Region V title clash, ending the game after six innings due to the 10 point lead.

      Ludeman earned the win with five innings on the mound, allowing just three hits and two runs while striking out three and walking one. Schmidt relieved for one inning and struck out one batter.

      McCormick went 2-4 at the plate with four RBI and scored one run. Schmidt had two hits. Bryant and Schmidt scored two runs.

      The Crimson Bears will open the state tournament against Dimond High School, Thursday, at 7 p.m. on Anchorage’s Mulcahy Stadium field.

      The Thunder Mountain Falcons opened Region V tournament play in Sitka with a 6-3 win over the Wolves, then fell to JDHS 13-1.

      The loss set up an elimination game for a berth in the finals and a trip to state.

      The Falcons fell to Sitka 9-8 in that elimination contest.

      Junior Preston Williams started on the mound and went 4.1 innings, allowing eight hits and six runs, striking out two Wolves hitters and walking three. Junior Noah Chambers relieved for two innings, allowing three hits and three runs and striking out three Wolves. Senior Oliver Mendoza pitched for two outs, allowing one hit.

      Williams, Mendoza and senior Josh Carte led with two RBI each, Isiah Nelson had one. Williams led with two hits, Nelson, Mendoza, senior Josh Rosenbruch, Chambers, junior Peyton Lewis and freshman Kaden Quinto one each. Nelson scored three runs, Lewis two, Williams, Chambers and Quinto one each.

      Bentz said the Crimson Bears were cheering for the Falcons.

      “If we don’t win we are always rooting for Thunder Mountain,” Bentz said. “We want to keep the championships in Juneau. And then if Thunder Mountain doesn’t win we want to keep it in the region. If we are not going to win it, we all instantly go right to Thunder Mountain and cheer for them. At regions we were cheering for Thunder Mountain against Sitka for that second seed spot to state. It is getting close, it is going to happen. Joe (Tompkins) and that program is getting better. It is just a bummer they came up a little short.”

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