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By SPENCER GLEASON
Daily News Sports Editor
Friday didn’t go how the Ketchikan Post 3 ball club hoped it would.
Granted Post 3 battled in both games of a twin bill against Chugiak Post 33, but after Friday’s doubleheader at Walker Field Ketchikan had two more losses.
“I feel like we beat ourselves,” Ketchikan coach Johnny Milner said. “I mean, Chugiak is a very solid team. They put pressure on really well when they get on base — as far as hit-and-run and steals. But we made a ton of mental mistakes in both games.”
Ketchikan dropped the first game 13-6, and came up short in the second game 7-4.
“The second game looked really bad with our bunt defense, and (Chugiak) jumped on it and took advantage of it,” Milner said. “The good news is that those are all things we can fix.”
Down 5-3 after three innings in Games 2, Ketchikan crept closer to Chugiak in the fourth, when an errant throw to third base went to the fence along the third base line.
Post 3’s Hayden McGarrigan raced home on the play to cut the deficit to 5-4. And Terik Brown and Liam Kiffer moved up a base, to third and second respectively.
A walk to Wyatt Barajas, who had homered earlier in the day, loaded the bases. But Ketchikan was unable to knock in anymore runs.
Chugiak ripped a lead-off double in the bottom of the fourth, and eventually scored two more runs in the frame with the help of a bunt single and a couple stolen bases. And that 7-4 lead proved to be the final.
Ketchikan threatened again in the top half of the sixth inning, loading the bases with three consectutive walks to Kiffer, Barajas and Tug Olson. But a strikeout ended the threat.
Chugiak started the day jumping out on top of Ketchikan. Post 33 had built a 4-0 lead before Barajas cranked a two-run home run in the third inning. The long ball helped Ketchikan inch closer, and Post 3 only was down one run after three innings.
But Chugiak plated one run in the fourth, and two more in the sixth inning, before the game unraveled in the seventh.
Post 33 scored six runs in the inning, which started with a lead-off walk and a hit-by-pitch. It tacked on tallies with a pair of doubles, a stolen base and several base hits.
“We really let it get away from us when it snowballed there,” Milner said.
Ketchikan would respond, however. Vinny Trujillo started the inning with a single, and CJ Jasper walked. And Post 3 scored three runs. But it wasn’t enough.
“We hit the ball pretty well all day,” Milner said. “(Kiffer and Barajas) crushed the ball all day. We left a few guys on base, and we still could’ve been in those games with as many mistakes as we had. We just needed one or two more timely hits.”
Ketchikan has a break before its next homestand, which begins on June 28 against Eagle River. And the ball club will take the opportunity to work on its fielding.
Post 3 still hasn’t had much time playing together this season. Several players jumped right in after the Ketchikan High School varsity baseball season, and others are still getting in the swing of summer baseball.
“We just haven’t had enough time with all of them on the field together,” Milner said.
And that time together will provide cohesion.
“I think it’s going to be huge,” Milner said. “And it will be good to get full practices these next two weeks.
“Pitching we’re solid; we’re hitting the ball,” he continued. “We just have to clean up a few things.”
Notes: Ketchikan can still end the four-game series on a positive note. After dropping the first three, including Friday’s two conference games, Ketchikan and Chugiak will lock up once more on Saturday at Walker Field. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. The game will be considered non-conference.