The Ketchikan Post 3 American Legion ball club finished up its regular season with a pair of wins over Wasilla Post 35 on Saturday in Anchorage. Ketchikan swept the final day’s doubleheader with a 11-9 win in Game 1, and an 9-2 victory in Game 2.
The pair of W’s means Ketchikan finishes in second place in the Alaska Legion National Division. Post 3 went 13-10 overall, and was 11-5 in conference games, scoring 49 points in the standings. The standing’s point system is based on victories in conference and non-conference games, with conference wins carrying more weight.
Post 3, which already had guaranteed itself a spot in the state tournament after Friday’s 10-5 win over Fairbanks Post 11, now has a few days off to regroup before beginning the state bracket on Wednesday in Anchorage.
Ketchikan enters the state tournament with a five-game winning streak — all during this road trip. Post 3 beat Bartlett Post 29 6-1 on Wednesday, and won 12-0 over West Anchorage Post 1 on Thursday, then followed up with its victories over Fairbanks and Wasilla. Ketchikan finishes the regular season with an 8-3 road record, and will look to add to its victory total beginning next Wednesday.
Ketchikan 11, Wasilla 9
Ketchikan played the “home” team in Saturday’s first game in Anchorage.
And after Post 3 starting pitcher Isaac Romano sat down the first three Wasilla batters, 1-2-3, Ketchikan’s offense went to work.
Post 3’s Terik Brown and Brayden Gentry worked back-to-back walks to lead off the bottom of the first inning, and both came around to score in the frame, as Ketchikan took an early 2-0 lead over Wasilla.
Romano picked up where he left off in the top of the second, sitting down Wasilla’s No. 4, 5 and 6 hitters, 1-2-3 again.
Romano had three pairs to start the game, recording a couple groundouts, two flyballs, and struck out two batters, as well, for the first six outs.
And just as they had done the inning prior, Ketchikan’s lineup crossed the dish in its share of the second frame.
Post 3’s Colby Hanchey worked a one-out walk, and eventually scored. McKinley Hamilton, Van McGarrigan, Brown and Gentry combined for four consecutive singles, and the foursome also scored, giving Ketchikan a 7-0 lead after two innings.
Wasilla didn’t get on the board until the fourth inning. By that point, Ketchikan had built a 10-0 lead. But that was barely enough to hold Post 35 down.
Wasilla rallied back, plating two in the fifth inning, one in the sixth, and five runs in the top of the seventh inning. But Ketchikan hung on for its 11-9 win.
Romano finished the day tossing five innings, while striking out six.
Brown and Gentry each scored three runs, apiece.
Ketchikan 9, Wasilla 2
Ketchikan jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first inning in Game 2 on Saturday. Brown, Gentry and Kyan Klinger all scored, giving Ketchikan a 3-0 lead before Wasilla swung the bat. Klinger was a courtesy runner for Ketchikan catcher Dylan Nedzwecky, who reached base via an error.
Post 3 starting pitcher Hayden McGarrigan retired Wasilla’s first batter with a groundout, but Wasilla’s next two batters quickly got on base with back-to-back singles, and the two base runners made their way around the bags, reaching third and second base before the third out was retired.
McGarrigan left them stranded at third and second base, striking out Wasilla’s No. 4 and 5 hitters, giving Post 35 a sign of things to come.
Wasilla didn’t cross the dish until the bottom of the fifth, but had runners in scoring position in the first, second and third innings. But time and again, McGarrigan wiggled his way out of jams.
McGarrigan finished the day tossing 101 pitches through six innings, striking out five and allowing five hits.
Ketchikan had already scored all nine of its runs by the time Wasilla plated its pair.
Both Brown and Van McGarrigan scored twice, and Game 1 starter Isaac Romano moved to second base in the second game, and was 3-for-4 with two singles and a double.
Colby Hanchey also hit a double and scored a run.
Post 3 sends three to All-Star Game
Ketchikan will be represented by Terik Brown, Hayden McGarrigan and Dylan Nedzwecky in the Alaska Legion All-Star Game on Tuesday in Anchorage. The trio will play for the National Division.
The Alaska Legion All-Star Game is scheduled for Tuesday at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m.
Other teams in the state tournament
In addition to Ketchikan, the National Division also will be represented by Service Post 28, as well as Eagle River. The three teams are the only clubs from the National Division to advance to the state tournament.
Service finished atop the National Division, with 58 total points, which is based on Post 28’s record. Service was 19-7 overall, and 14-2 in conference games. Service’s two conference losses were against Ketchikan in the season opening weekend. Ketchikan took three of four games against Service in mid-June.
Eagle River finished third in the National Division, with 43 points. It finished 18-7 overall, and 9-7 in conference games.
The American Division will be represented by five teams, as the state tournament will be an eight-team bracket.
South Anchorage Post 4, Juneau Post 25, Dimond Post 21, Chugiak Post 33 and Palmer Post 15 all made the the cut.
South Anchorage finished atop the American Division with 64 points, going 22-2 overall, and was 16-0 in conference games. Ketchikan is responsible for one of those two losses, as it won one of the four matchups when South Anchorage was in town over the Fourth of July weekend.
Juneau finished second in the American Division, with 49 points, going 17-5 overall and 11-5 in conference games. Dimond also had 49 points, going 11-5 in conference games, but was 14-9 overall.
Chugiak placed fourth in the division, with 43 points, going 13-11 overall and 9-7 in conference games.
Palmer had 40 points, finishing fifth with a 14-12 overall record. It was an even .500, at 8-8, in conference games.
For Alaska Legion teams not in the state tournament, there is the Matson Invitational, which is a consolation tournament.
North Pole Post 30 and Bartlett Post 29 will represent the American Division in the tournament.
The National Division will be represented by West Anchorage Post 1, Fairbanks Post 11, Wasilla Post 35, Kenai Post 20 and East Anchroage Post 34.