Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Juneau’s Gastineau Channel Little League Majors (10-12 year olds) Baseball All Stars topped host Sitka Little League 15-3 on Sunday in the opening game of the Alaska District 2 Tournament at Moller Field.
“The kids really hung in there as a team,” Juneau manager Jaysen Katasse said. “When you make plays and start hitting, it gets contagious. Let’s hope it carries into game two tomorrow.”
Katasse explained what it takes to be successful in the tournament.
"I think it's a combination of lots of practice and the kids have a desire to win," Katasse said. "We're coming out here hungry for some baseball... obviously a big part is the support from the GCLL board and the parents, they really come together and help us get everything coordinated and there is a lot of behind the scenes stuff that is important to these kids being successful... they are all great kids, fun to be around, a lot of energy and good baseball players..."
Juneau broke open a 2-2 tie in the top of the fifth inning as Charlie Begenyi led off with a triple, Brenner Harralston singled, scoring Begenyi, and then stole his way around the bases to score for a 4-2 lead. The floodgates opened and Juneau scored a total of 13 runs in the inning for a 15-2 advantage.
Sitka got one run back in the bottom half but the game ended by the 10-run rule.
Harralston led Juneau with a 4-5 day at the plate, including two runs batted in and four runs scored.
Keaton Belcourt, Vinny Nizich and Begenyi had one RBI each. Belcourt, Begenyi, Micah Nelson, Jamison Randolph and Gavin Kohan had two hits each, Parker Katasse and Joshua Beedle one apiece. Nelson, Belcourt, Randolph and Begenyi scored two runs each, Katasse, Kohan and Nizich one each. Randolph earned two walks, Nizich and Bode Winkleman one apiece.
Harralston stole an incredible nine bases, Nelson and Belcourt an impressive six apiece, Nizich three, Katasse two, and Randolph, Kohan and Winkleman one each.
Belcourt started on the mound for Juneau and faced 12 batters over three innings, allowing one hit and one run, walking two hitters and striking out six, with 53 pitches thrown - 32 for strikes. Harralston faced five batters over 0.2 innings, allowing one hit and one run, walking two and striking out two, with 21 pitches thrown -10 for strikes. Isaac Kirsch faced six batters over 1.1 innings, allowing one run, walking one and striking out two, with 21 pitches thrown - eight for strikes.
Sitka’s Fisher Steinson scored two runs and Marshall Branch one; Garrett Johnson had one RBI; Johnson and Bayler Steinson had one hit apiece. Johnson went four innings on the mound, allowing nine hits and seven runs, walking three batters and striking out six; Chase Haskins went one inning, allowing nine hits and eight runs and walking two.
Juneau will face Ketchikan on Monday in game two of the tournament. Ketchikan plays Sitka in game three on Tuesday to end round-robin play. A modified double elimination tournament begins Wednesday with the No. 3 and No. 2 seeds playing. The tournament runs through July 24.