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KETCHIKAN (KDN) — If anything, it was Hayden McGarrigan’s pitch count that knocked him out of the Matson Invitational semifinal at Bartlett High School on Sunday — not Service Post 28’s opposing lineup.
Ketchikan Post 3’s starting pitcher was on the verge of his first complete game this season, when the 105-pitch count American Legion Baseball rule got the better end of him.
McGarrigan tossed 6 2/3 innings of two-hit ball, and allowed just one run to lead Post 3 to a 7-1 win over Service — and Ketchikan to the Matson Invitational championship.
Post 3 will play in the title game at Mulcahy Stadium at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.
“Hayden threw a good game,” Ketchikan manager Johnny Milner said. “He killed it. He kept (Service) off balance; he pitched really well.
“I was hoping he’d be able to finish it,” Milner continued. “But he hit the (pitch count).”
Liam Kiffer and McGarrgian switched spots, as McGarrigan moved to shortstop, and Kiffer closed the game with just two pitches.
Ketchikan scored its seven runs on 11 hits, and up and down the lineup everyone contributed.
Kiffer, Terik Brown, Wyatt Barajas and Gabe Bowlen all had two hits, apiece. And Korbin Stack had a pair of RBIs.
Post 3’s Tug Olson also was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. And CJ Jasper had an RBI, and Dylan Nedzwecky scored a run.
“It felt like everybody in the lineup was hitting the ball hard today,” Milner said.
Three named to All-State squad
Prior to Sunday’s semifinal, three Post 3 players were honored with all-state legion team of excellence awards.
The squad’s first-team had McGarrigan named as a starting pitcher, and both Barajas and Kiffer named in the infield.
The All-State team is voted on by all 16 of the varsity managers. Kiffer led the state with a .650 batting average, and Barajas led all of Alaska with four home runs in Post 3’s 18 league games.
In the previous five seasons, Post 3 only has had two players named to the all-state team.
What’s on deck?
Post 3 will play at 9 a.m. on Tuesday in the Matson Invitational championship game at Mulcahy Stadium. Ketchikan will remain the home team, but its opponent will be decided on Monday.
Post 3 will either play Service, North Pole or Eagle River.
Because Post 3 hasn’t lost in the double-elimination tournament, it will have to be beaten twice. If Ketchikan loses its 9 a.m. game, it will play a second matchup at 11:30 a.m. The home team of that game will be decided by a coin flip. The games will be livestreamed on alaskalegion.com.