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By JOE JUDD
Daily News Staff Writer
KETCHIKAN — The Ketchikan Post 3 American Legion baseball team earned its first win of the season on Friday night, taking down Chugiak Post 33 by a score of 9-8 at Norman Walker Field.
In what was a back-and-forth affair, Ketchikan fell behind early but stayed in the game by its hot bats and consistent hitting.
After Chugiak took a 4-0 lead in the top of the second inning, Post 3 cut the lead in half to make it a 4-2 ballgame in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Post 33 took a 6-3 lead an inning and a half later but, Ketchikan was able to rally and claim its first lead of the evening, making it a 7-6 game in the top of the sixth inning.
Ketchikan held on to its lead for just a half inning, allowing Chugiak to go up 8-6 lead as the game folded into the bottom of the sixth inning, where Ketchikan took advantage of a couple of hit batters and a wild pitch to tie the game and eventually take the lead for good and secure the victory in the top of the seventh.
Ketchikan head coach Johnny Milner said it was a team victory.
“It was a good win. We got just about everybody in tonight in one fashion or another,” Milner said on Friday after the win.
Milner said it was nice to allow a few players to throw a few innings on the mound, especially considering the team's upcoming road trip to Anchorage where it will play a total of eight games in four days.
“We need to figure out how deep we are, but it's always nice to get the first win of the year,” Milner said. “It gives the kids some confidence.”
Milner said he was happy with the way his team refused to quit en route to its comeback victory.
He went on to give Chugiak credit for being one of the better baseball programs in Alaska and said that they played a hard game, too.
“I think that was our first win against (Chugiak), that's a big confidence-builder,” Milner said.
With the victory, Milner said his team still needs to work on making a few routine plays on defense before they take the field again, but that he's seen consistency with Post 3's pitching and hitting.
“We need to tighten up the defense a little; we had some mental mistakes out there tonight,” Milner said. “Make the easy ones look easy.”
Post 3 and Post 33 will play a double header Saturday afternoon with games starting at noon and 3 p.m. on before finishing the weekend with an 11 a.m. game on Sunday.