After one inning, Ketchikan Post 3 held a lead over Eagle River on Friday night.
Ketchikan leadoff hitter Terik Brown reached base on an error, proceeded to steal both second and third base, and scored when Dylan Nedzwecky put the ball in play — also reaching on an error.
But that 1-0 lead didn’t last long.
Eagle River responded — and did so repeatedly — plating 14 runs before Ketchikan was able to cross the dish once again.
Eagle River plated two runs in the top of the second inning, and two more in the top of the third. It scored five times in the fourth, and tacked on another five runs in the fifth inning — totaling a 14-1 lead after four and a half frames.
Eagle River eventually won 14-3 after five innings. The game was called due to the run differential.
Meanwhile, Eagle River starting pitcher Charlie Wallace continued to give Post 3 batters fits at the plate.
Wallace’s long, slow delivery left Ketchikan batters out on their front foot many times, as he sat Post 3 down 1-2-3 in both the second and third innings.
The empty frames from Post 3’s offense gave Eagle River’s batters time to edge ahead of Ketchikan. Eagle River had a 4-1 lead after three innings.
Wallace retired nine straight batters, before Ketchikan’s Hayden McGarrigan broke up the string of outs in the bottom of the fourth inning.
After Nedzwecky lined out to right field, McGarrigan ripped a ground-rule double that bounced over the right-center field fence.
By that point, Eagle River had built a 9-1 lead.
McGarrigan was only Post 3’s third base runner of the game, but he was promptly thrown out trying to steal third base during Jesse Loughman’s at-bat.
The inning ended two batters later, after Loughman hit an infield single, and Isaac Romano flied out to center field.
Ketchikan tried to build a comeback in the bottom of the fifth — or at least force a full seven-inning game.
Ketchikan’s first four batters in the frame reached base, despite not hitting the ball out of the infield.
Bubba Williams led off with an infield single. He was forced out at second base when Kyan Klinger reached on a fielder’s choice.
Thomas Kroscavage then hit an infield single, putting runners at first and second.
Brown worked a walk, as he watched several slow breaking pitches float by from Wallace, loading the bases. And that forced Eagle River to make a pitching change.
Stefan Retzlaff relieved Wallace, and faced four batters before the third out was retired.
Ketchikan’s Caleb Eisenhower welcomed Retzlaff with a single up the middle, plating Klinger.
The score only made it 14-2, but the bases still remained loaded.
Nedzwecky followed Eisenhower’s hit with a sacrifice fly, scoring Kroscavage — 14-3.
It was the inning’s second out, but after McGarrigan walked, the bases were loaded once more.
Ketchikan still needed to plate a pair of runs to guarantee the game continuing — and Loughman came very close to making that happen.
Loughman laced a 1-0 pitch to deep right-center field, but Eagle River right fielder Jack Molloy had a beat on the line drive, and leaped to make the grab for the game’s final out.
Saturday’s twin bill is lined up to start at 1 p.m. Following the first game there will be a brief break, with the second game slated to start at 3:30 p.m.
Both games of Saturday’s doubleheader will be considered conference games.
Sunday will be Post 3’s final home game of the season. First pitch for the non-conference matchup with Eagle River is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Following the homestand, Ketchikan will travel north to close out the regular season.
Post 3 will play five conference games in four days while in Anchorage, beginning on Wednesday.
Post 3 will play Bartlett Post 29 on July 14, West Anchorage Post 1 on July 15, and Fairbanks Post 11 on July 16, before locking up with Wasilla Post 35 in a doubleheader on Saturday, July 17.
Post 3 will have four days to recoup before the Alaska Legion postseason tournaments begin. Both the state tournament and Matson Invitational — the state’s consolation tournament — are scheduled to run from July 22 to July 27.