Region Tournament Ends Season for Capital City Baseball Teams

    Shown are members of the 2022 Region V all-conference team. (photo courtesy TMHS)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé and Thunder Mountain High School baseball teams did not advance out of the Southeast Conference Region V baseball tournament at Ketchikan last weekend. Ketchikan and Sitka will represent the SEC at this weekend's state tourney in Anchorage.

      “Our guys consistently worked hard this year,” JDHS coach Chad Bentz said. “We put ourselves in a great opportunity to succeed and it just didn’t work out, which happens in the game of baseball. We will move forward and have some of the best motivation an athlete can have over the off-season. I wish the seniors nothing but the best of luck in the next chapters of their lives. I hope all the returning players hit the weight room hard and don’t come out until next March.”

      Crimson Bears juniors Eli Crupi, Caden Mesdag and Bodhi Nelson were all-conference selections along with Falcons seniors Noah Chambers and Preston Williams and sophomore Kasen Ludeman.

      JDHS and TMHS Falcons opened their region tournament in a cross-town rivalry on the road and the Crimson Bears bested the Falcons 13-2 in five innings.

      JDHS junior pitchers Crupi and Joe Aline combined on the mound for the win. Crupi started and went three innings, allowed five hits and the two runs, stuck out two batters and walked one. Aline relieved for two innings, allowed three hits, struck out two batters and walked one.

     The Crimson Bears’ Mesdag had four runs batted in, senior Porter Nelson three, B. Nelson and junior Kaleb Campbell two apiece, junior Garrison Luben and senior Kai Schmidt one apiece. Mesdag had three hits, P. Nelson and Luben two apiece, B. Nelson, junior Derek Schauwecker, Campbell, Luben and senior Gaby Soto one each. Schmidt, B. Nelson, P. Nelson and sophomore Lamar Blatnick scored two runs each, Mesdag, Schauwecker, Campbell, Luben and Soto one each.

      TMHS was led by Chambers with the two runs batted in. Williams and sophomore Thomas Baxter led with two hits apiece. Chambers, senior Isiah Nelson, senior Matthew Hartsock and sophomore Liam Hart had one hit each. Nelson and Williams scored one run apiece.

      Baxter started on the mound for a period in the first inning and took the loss, allowing two runs and three walks. Williams relieved for three innings, allowed seven hits and six runs. Hartsock made an appearance, allowed two hits and two runs and Anthony Anderson allowed two hits and three runs, and walked two.

      The Falcons next lost to Ketchikan 10-0 and were eliminated from the tournament.

      TMHS senior Peyton Lewis, freshman Jeremiah McCormick, I. Nelson and Baxter had one hit each. Lewis started on the mound, allowed four hits and seven runs, struck out one and walked four. I. Nelson relieved for two innings, allowed two hits and struck out one. Mason Jacobs appeared and allowed one hit, three runs and walked one.

      Kayhi’s Zach Hanchey and Mickey Lapinski had two RBI apiece to lead the Kings. Van McGarrigan pitched the complete game for the win. 

      "We had a pretty good season," TMHS coach Joe Tompkins said. "We didn't do as well in the tourney as I thought we would. And that's on me for not having them tourney ready."

      JDHS next fell to Sitka 11-9 in a winner's bracket game that went eight innings.

      Sitka led 9-4 in the seventh inning and the Crimson Bears got a five-run rally that tied the game and brought the extra inning into play. Sitka scored two runs in the top of the eighth and JDHS led off the bottom half with a single by Aline but then went down on three straight outs.

      B. Nelson led the Crimson Bears with three RBI, Soto two and Blatnick one, according to JDHS stats. B. Nelson and Schmidt had three hits apiece, Soto two, Schauwecker, Aline and Blatnick one. Schmidt scored three runs, Blatnick two, Schauwecker, P. Nelson, Luben and Soto one each.

      Luben started for 2.1 innings, allowed one hit and two runs, struck out three and walked four. Schmidt went 1.1 innings with two hits and four runs allowed, struck out two and walked three. P. Nelson went 1.1 innings and walked one batter. Junior Marcus Underwood went two innings with two hits and three runs allowed, and struck out one. Aline went one inning with one hit and two runs allowed and struck out one.

      Sitka’s Chase Calhoun led the Wolves with three RBI, including a home run. Sam Johnson had three hits. Dylan Marx, Bridger Bird, Johnson, Smith and Calhoun scored two runs each. Grady Smith, Marx, Ben Turner, Tyler Redon and Bryce Calhoun all shared the mound.

     JDHS next faced Kayhi, who had been sent down to the loser’s bracket by Sitka in the tourney opener.

     The Crimson Bears were eliminated by the Kings 7-3.

      B. Nelson had two RBI and Soto one. Mesdag had three hits, B. Nelson, Schauwecker, P. Nelson, Luben and Soto one each. Mesdag scored two runs and Soto one.

      Luben went two innings on the mound with one hit and two runs allowed, and struck out four. P. Nelson 2.1 innings with four hits and two runs allowed, and struck out two and walked six. Schmidt 2.2 innings with three hits and three runs allowed, struck out five and walked two.

      Colby Hanchay pitched the complete game win for the Kings with eight hits and three runs allowed, striking out three and walking one.

      Sitka earned the Region V Championship with a 10-9 walk-off ground ball in the eighth inning over Ketchikan. The hit was a clear out to third base but the throw to first was an error scoring Dylan Marx.

      Sitka will be the SEC top seed for this weekend's state tournament in Anchorage. Kayhi was already guaranteed the SEC second seed to state by virtue of winning the season conference standings.

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