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By SPENCER GLEASON
Daily News Sports Editor
With a pair of wins at Juneau-Douglas High School on Saturday, the Ketchikan High School Kings’ baseball team has ensured itself a spot atop the region.
The Kings swept their twin bill against the Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears, 4-2 and 5-2, and claimed the No. 1 seed in the Region V tournament set to begin in Juneau on May 23-25.
And in doing so, Kayhi guarantees itself a spot in the state tournamnet in Anchorage on May 30-June 1.
It is the second straight season the Kings will advance to the state tournament, and fourth time in the past five years.
The Kings placed third last year. Kayhi finished fifth in 2016, and sixth in 2015.
Juneau-Douglas won the state title last year. But the Kings were ready to punch their ticket to Anchorage.
Game 1 between the Kings and Crimson Bears remained scoreless for the first four innings. The Kings’ Cody Kemble kept Juneau-Douglas at bay before the Kings’ offense broke through in the top of the fifth.
Kayhi plated a pair, but the Crimson Bears would do the same in the bottom half of the inning.
Only one of those runs was earned, however. Kemble finished the game, striking out six through his five innings of work.
Kayhi’s Brock King relieved Kemble and tossed two scoreless innings, recording five strike outs.
The Kings’ bats plated two more runs in the top of the sixth, and that was all they needed.
King, along with Hayden McGarrigan, Kristian Pihl and Terik Brown, crossed the dish for Kayhi.
And both the Kings’ Wyatt Barajas and CJ Paule had a multi-hit game. Paule was 2-for-4, and Barajas went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs.
King and Liam Kiffer were responsible for the Kings’ other two runs batted in.
The Kings had to scrounge for every run in the second game.
After Juneau-Douglas took a 1-0 lead, Kayhi scored two in its share of the fourth inning. But Juneau-Douglas tied it 2-2 an inning later.
The Kings sealed the deal in the seventh inning, scoring a trio of runs. And Kiffer shut the door in the bottom half for the 5-2 win.
Kiffer pitched the full seven innings, allowing just one hit and striking out 10 Crimson Bears. Neither of Juneau-Douglas’ runs were earned.
Kiffer did his job at the plate, too. The senior had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4. And Pihl was 1-for-2, with a run scored and two RBIs.
Notes: The Kings will be able to rest their arms for the next few days, and spend some time in the hitting cage. Kayhi has 10 days before the region tournament begins in Juneau.
And with a guaranteed spot at state, the Kings sit in the driver’s seat of how they plan to attack the next couple weeks.
JV Kings shutout JDHS 12-0
Duces were wild for Kayhi’s Caleb Eisenhower on Saturday afternoon against Juneau-Douglas’ JV team.
And with No. 22 on his jersey, Eisenhower hit two singles, scored two runs, pitched two innings and struck out two JV Crimson Bears.
Eisenhower was the lone JV Kings’ batter with a multi-hit day in their 12-0 win. Kayhi scored a dozen runs on 10 hits.
The JV Kings’ Luke Murdock scored three runs, and Dylan Nedzwecky and Terik Brown both crossed the dish twice.
Kayhi plated runs in five of the six-inning affair, scoring four in the fifth and four more in the sixth innings.