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Legion baseball ends trip on high note

By Dave Kiffer
For the Daily News

The Ketchikan American Legion baseball team ended its week-long trip to Anchorage and Wasilla on a positive note in the Todd Ryan Memorial Tournament, coming close to defeating a former national champion Legion team from Ohio and then easily defeating Bartlett for the second time in the week.

Overall, Ketchikan played 10 games in four days, winning four and losing six.

Napoleon Ohio 7, Ketchikan 3

Moral victories don’t help much in the standings, but in the middle of a tough road trip to Anchorage, the Ketchikan Post#3 baseball team pulled off a big one in a game against a national power Legion team.

On Saturday, Napoleon, Ohio defeated Ketchikan 7-3, but with the exception one three-run rally, Ketchikan generally played the former Legion national champion to a draw and took two leads on the Ohio team.

Earlier in the week, Napoleon had dominated the BP Invitational Tournament, 10-running several of the top Alaska teams.

But Ketchikan hung with Napoleon for most of the contest.

Liam Kiffer tripled in the first inning and scored when Tug Olson reached on an error.

Napoleon took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first on three walks, a single and a sacrifice.

In the second inning, Azariah Schultz reached on an error and scored on a single by Vinnie Trujillo.

Ketchikan took a 3-2 lead in third on a long opposite field home run by Wyatt Bajaras. But Napoleon tied the score on two singles, a sacrifice bunt and an error.

In the fourth inning, Napoleon opened up a three-run lead on a double, two singles, an error and a sacrifice fly.

Ketchikan then loaded the bases in the top of the sixth with singles by Korbin Stack and Dylan Nedzwecky and a walk to Terik Brown, but they were stranded.

In the bottom of the sixth, Napoleon tagged on another run with two walks and a single.

Ketchikan actually outhit Napoleon 9-7 but committed four errors that led to three of the Napoleon runs.

Jasper, Kiffer, Bajaras, Stack, Nedzwecky, Brown, Schultz, Trujillo and Gabe Bowlen all hit safely for Ketchikan.

Hayden McGarrigan pitched the complete game for Ketchikan.

Ketchikan 12, Bartlett 2

Bartlett jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning after a single, a wild pitch and an error, but after that it was pretty much all Ketchikan,

Jasper singled, stole second, went to third on a passed pall and scored on a wild pitch. Brown and Stack then walked. Brown scored on a single by Bowlen.

In the second inning, Hamilton was hit by a pitch, Slick reached on an error, Jasper singled to score Hamilton, Slick scored on another error and Brown singled. Stack walked and Bowlen singled again, scoring Jasper and Brown to make the score 6-1.

In the fourth, Stack was hit by a pitch, stole second, went to third on another single by Bowlen and scored on error.

Bartlett scored a second run in the fifth on an error, a passed ball and a single.

But then Ketchikan came back big in the fifth, when Hamilton walked, Slick hit a single and Barajas hit his second home run in two days to push the Ketchikan lead to 10-2. Brown then singled and stole second and third and scored on a single by Stack. Vinnie Trujillo singled Stack to third and Stack scored on a passed ball to end the game by the 10-run rule.

Bowlen led Ketchikan with three hits, Jasper, Slick and Brown each had two and Barajas, Trujillo, Stack and James Nordlund had one each.

Nordlund handled the pitching duties for Ketchikan.

The Ketchikan team returns home on Monday and will head back to Anchorage on July 18 for its final six games of the season and the state championship tournament.