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Ketchikan Post #3 opens road trip with win: Bests Dimond in 1st game, falls to division leader South in 2nd
Ketchikan Post #3’s CJ Jasper makes it to first base before Eagle River first baseman Orazio Ramos can make the catch on Friday during an 11-2 Ketchikan win at Walker Field. Staff photo by Dustin Safranek

Daily News Staff Writer

After winning four straight games during its final homestand of its 2019 season, the Ketchikan Post #3 baseball team opened its multi-day road trip in Southcentral Alaska with an 8-4 win over division rivals Dimond Post #21.

Ketchikan came into Tuesday’s contest in fifth place in the Alaska Legion American Division with a conference record of 3-3 and an overall record of 8-5. Dimond sat in second place with a 6-4 conference record, and 11-9 overall.

Dimond struck first, recording one run in the bottom of the first inning when a double hit by Dimond’s Jack Dolon off Ketchikan starter Tug Olson drove in a Dimond Lynx base runner, according to running game stats via iscoresports.com.

Ketchikan bounced back quickly with three runs in the second inning, sparked by an early walk by James Nordlund followed by a fast single by Korbin Stack.

Nordlund then reached third base on a wild pitch, and Azariah Schultz drew a walk to load the bases. When Ketchikan lead-off hitter CJ Jasper drew the bases-loaded walk off Dimond pitcher Luke Smith, Nordlund crossed the plate to tie the game at 1-1.

Stack and Schultz then scored on an error by the Lynx shortstop, earning Ketchikan a 3-1 lead as the top of the second came to a close.

After Olson recorded a strikeout, ground out and fly out to set the Lynx down one, two, three, in the bottom half of the second inning, Olson and Gabe Bowlen opened the third inning with singles. Olson eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Ketchikan first-baseman Vinny Trujillo as Post #3 increased its lead to 4-1 in the top of the third.

Ketchikan added two more runs in the fourth inning after Jasper hit a single and shortstop Liam Kiffer reached base after being hit by a pitch. Both scored after a single hit by Ketchikan clean-up batter Wyatt Barajas resulted in an error by Dimond’s center fielder.

Dimond clawed back two runs in its half of the fifth inning, with two walks followed by two RBI singles. Ketchikan answered right back in the sixth.

Kiffer knocked a single and advanced to second base on a wild pitch, then scored from second on a double hit by Barajas.

Olson rapped a single that sent Barajas to third base. Barajas scored on a ground out by Bowlen, giving Ketchikan a comfortable 8-3 lead that held through the bottom of the seventh inning.

Ketchikan coach Johnny Milner brought in relief pitcher Hayden McGarrigan to close out the game for Post #3. McGarrigan notched two fast ground outs before Dimond’s Adam Boyce reached base on a single. A defensive error added another Lynx runner to the base paths, and a walk loaded the bases up. One of those runners would reach home plate before McGarrigan got the final ground out to end the game 8-4 in favor of Ketchikan.

Later Tuesday evening, Ketchikan Post #3 played the South Post #4 Wolverines. South, which leads the American Division, prevailed by a score of 8-3. Game stats were not available by press time Tuesday.

Ketchikan’s road trip in Southcentral Alaska is set to continue Wednesday with a doubleheader against the Palmer Post #15 Pioneers, with game times scheduled for 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday in Palmer. As of Tuesday morning, Palmers’ record stood at 5-4 in conference play, and 7-6 overall.