KETCHIKAN (KDN) — There was drama in Monday night’s Ketchikan Little League senior baseball championship — and plenty of it.
There was key pitching and clutch hits; a home run and stealing of home. And all the bad bounces and lucky breaks that come throughout a game of baseball, and the rollercoaster affair between two teams when a trophy is on the line.
Monday night at Walker Field had it all, including a walk-off winner in extra innings.
R&M Engineering’s Colby Hanchey ripped a double into the left-center field gap, scoring Dawson Larna all the way from first base in the bottom of the eighth inning — extra innings under Little League rules. And Larna crossing the dish, ahead of the throw, gave R&M its 7-6 win over Southeast Air and Sea, and with that, R&M claimed the KLL senior league trophies.
R&M nearly won the championship an inning earlier. Ahead 6-3, and needing just three outs to claim the title, R&M let its three-run lead slip away.
After SEAS’ Max Malouf reached base on an error and stole second base, Dylan Nedzwecky smoked a 1-0 pitch over the left-center field fence for a two-run home run, cutting R&M’s lead to one, 6-5.
One batter later, SEAS’ Ryder Criscola walked and managed to steal three consecutive bases. He swiped second and third bases before sneaking home on a throw back to the pitcher, tying the game 6-6. His game-tying run came one pitch before the inning’s third out, giving SEAS some life.
The contest’s starting pitchers, SEAS’ Chase Hanis and R&M’s Van McGarrigan, kept the game scoreless through the first two frames.
SEAS broke the ice in the top of the third. Malouf scored the game’s first run, racing home after an errant throw to third base, and that started the back-and-forth affair.
R&M jumped ahead in its share of the third, plating a pair in the bottom half.
Axl Shoemaker led off the frame for R&M with a triple into the right field corner, and came around to score after Hanchey grounded out. But the RBI loomed large, as R&M needed every run that crossed the plate.
McGarrigan knocked a single to right field later in the inning, and scored after Skylar Greenfield reached base, giving R&M a 2-1 lead.
SEAS jumped back out in front, 3-2, in the top of the fifth. Nedzwecky hit a double into left field, plating Malouf. And Nedzwecky would score on a successful squeeze bunt by Criscola.
The left-handed hitting Criscola bumped the ball to the third base side of the pitcher’s mound, and beat the throw to first. Nedzwecky scored without a play at the plate.
R&M’s Liam Moseng knotted the game back at three apiece in the bottom of the fifth. After taking his base on balls, Moseng stole second and third bases, before scoring on Dyllan Sivertsen’s knock to left field.
R&M scored three more in the bottom of the sixth, but needed extra frames to seal the deal.
R&M Engineering — Champions
Colby Hanchey, Zach Hanchey, Van McGarrigan, Skylar Greenfield, Dyllan Sivertsen, Ridge Summers, Trevor Sayer, Axl Shoemaker, Dawson Larna, Evan Gunn, Jessup Hansen, Simon King, Liam Moseng, John Scoblic and Marcus Stockhausen
Southeast Air and Sea — Second Place
Kai Biagi, Brendyn Brown, Ryder Criscola, Kain Dalton, Colin Elliot, Brayden Gentry, Sean Guthrie, Chase Hanis, Jackson Hanis, Jason Hill, Max Malouf, Dylan Nedzwecky, Ben Phillips, Brock Thomas and Hayden Trudeau
*Rosters courtesy of each team.