Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - It is time to name an aluminum bat the “Post 25,” or at least the Juneau American Legion team deserves one after its opening game in the Northwest Class A Regional (NWCART) Tournament at Anchorage’s Mulcahy Stadium on Friday.
Juneau hit every white object near the plate in a 14-10 win over Palmer.
“If ever there was a team win, that was it,” Juneau co-coach Joe Tompkins said. “A lot of the younger kids played well, and the team stuck together when things weren’t going their way.”
Christian Ludeman led the Juneau batting practice with two RBI, two hits and two runs scored.
Joe Aline added two RBI and Kasen Ludeman, Olin Rawson and Kai Schmidt had one each.
Porter Nelson, Bodhi Nelson and Rawson added two hits. Austin McCurley, Aline, Garrison Luben, Schmidt, Landon Simonson and Rory Hayes had one hit each.
McCurley, P. Nelson, B. Nelson and Hayes scored two runs each. Rawson, Aline, Luben and Simonson scored one run each.
The team did not get a free pass, however, as Palmer collected 10 runs on nine Juneau errors. Both teams left eight runners on base.
“Olin was doing great pitching and carving up the strike zone,” Tompkins said. “And then the other team just put bat on ball after three good innings.”
Rawson started on the mound for Juneau and went 4.1 innings, allowed five hits and six runs and struck out six batters.
Juneau scored three runs in the first inning, three in the second, four in the third and four in the fifth.
Luben relieved for two outs and allowed one run, struck out one and walked two. Schmidt relieved for two outs and allowed three runs, struck out one and walked two. McCurley closed for 1.1 innings and struck out three and walked two.
“One of our relief pitchers was catching and we needed him to pitch so we had to take an outfielder to come catch, and you get the idea,” Tompkins said. “It didn’t stop there. Finally, after three pitching changes and lots of position changes, Austin McCurley came in and threw strikes. The nice thing was we never stopped swinging the bats and getting hits.”
Palmer trailed 10-0 before putting three runs across in the top of the fourth inning, three more in the fifth and four in the sixth. They had the bases loaded with two outs in their last at bat, but Juneau’s B. Nelson tracked down a fly ball in left field to end the game.
Juneau advances to play at 7 p.m. Saturday against the winner of Cody, Wyoming and Wasilla.
The double-elimination tournament features the second place teams from American Legion state tournaments across the Pacific Northwest. The tourney includes AA Alaska state runner-up South, third place Juneau, fourth place Palmer and fifth place Service, as well as at large bid Wasilla and teams from Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.
Gallatin Valley (MT) 7, Marsh Valley (ID) 6
Juneau (AK) 14, Palmer (AK) 10
South (AK) 9, Service (AK) 1
Game 4 Cody (WY) vs. Wasilla (AK) 7:00pm
Game 5 Marsh Valley (ID) vs.
Service (AK) 10:00am
Game 6 Palmer (AK) vs. LG4 1:00pm
Game 7 Gallatin Valley (MT) vs.
South (AK) 4:00pm
Game 8 Juneau (AK) vs. WG4 7:00pm
Game 9 WG6 vs. LG7 1:00pm
Game 10 WG5 vs. LG8 4:00pm
Game 11 WG7 vs. WG8 7:00pm
Game 12 TBD vs. TBD 4:00pm
Game 13 TBD vs. TBD 7:00pm
Game 14 Championship Game 12:00pm
Game 15 If-Necessary Game