The Ketchikan High School Kings won both games of their twin bill at Petersburg High School on Friday, sweeping the three-game series over two days.
Kayhi won the first game Friday afternoon, 6-2, before coming from behind to win the second matchup 16-4. Kayhi won 12-1 on Thursday.
“I wouldn’t call either of these games our best games,” Kayhi head coach Andy Berntson said of the doubleheader on Friday. “We didn’t feel great about how we played, but we got two wins. So that’s what’s important. ... We did OK in spurts today — had some pretty good contributors throughout the day — but I think we’re still looking for a complete game.”
Both runs Petersburg scored in the first game — the Kings’ 6-2 victory — were unearned.
Kayhi’s Jesse Loughman started on the mound, and was followed by Terik Brown, who tossed three innings of relief.
“Overall, it was a really well-pitched game. ... Two errors brought in a couple runs, which is certainly not what you want to see. ... But the pitchers did really well.
“No earned runs is a pretty good day,” he continued. “Just want to try to tighten up all that (other) stuff.”
A couple of miscues allowed Petersburg to get on the board in the bottom of the third inning, cutting Kayhi’s early 4-0 lead in half, 4-2.
At the plate, the Kings’ McKinley Hamilton went 3-for-3, and had a pair of RBIs. Max Malouf also knocked in a couple runs, and Hayden McGarrigan was 2-for-4, with two runs scored.
But even with a decent amount of production at the plate, Kayhi struggled to break away from the Vikings.
“We had a lot of scoring opportunities, a lot of long innings, that just (didn’t have) a whole lot of production,” Berntson said. “You (get) runners on base, you want to find ways to put the ball in play, and moving those guys around, so you don’t waste those opportunities.
“And I felt like, in that first game, we did a lot of that,” he continued. “We had a handful of strikeouts in really bad spots, and getting the ball in the air instead of moving guys around.”
But Petersburg defense also played a large role in Kayhi’s inability to plate more runs.
“It wasn’t just our guys not executing,” Berntson said. “Petersburg made some really good plays. We had bases loaded, two out, Tyler Slick hit one to the wall, and their kid ran into the wall and made the catch, saving three runs.
“Their infielders made some real nice plays — at short, third and first. Their defense really kept these games close.”
The Kings fell behind in the second game. An eventual 16-4 win, started out with Kayhi trailing 4-2.
“(Petersburg’s) defense kept it close until the later innings,” Berntson said.
The Kings broke through in the fourth inning, plating six runs, and crossed the dish seven more times in the top of the fifth inning.
Kayhi’s Korbin Stack had three RBIs, and McGarrigan, Slick and Hamilton each had two RBIs. Slick finished the second game 3-for-4.
“Just getting the wins that we need to get, and trying to iron out the kinks,” Berntson said of the two wins on Friday.. “Early in the season, it’s just about making sure we stay on the right path, and keep the guys improving.”
The Kings’ Hayden McGarrigan tossed all five innings of Kayhi’s 12-1 season opening victory on Thursday, allowing just one hit, while striking out 12 Petersburg Vikings’ batters.
McGarrigan also went 3-for-4 at the plate, with a pair of singles and a double, and drove in the Kings’ first run of the game.
“He did really well yesterday,” Berntson said of McGarrigan’s outing. “Just a ton of strikes, and a ton of strikeouts. He gave up one single, which ended up costing one run — which is not how you want to see the math go down. ... But overall, just a really, really good game for him.”