The Thunder Mountain baseball team ended a two-year conference losing streak to their archrival on Saturday night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.
Led by junior pitcher Stone Morgan — who pitched four scoreless innings — the Falcons upended Juneau-Douglas 6-4 to split a Saturday doubleheader with the Crimson Bears. TMHS lost 2-1 in the first game, giving up two unearned runs.
“As the game went on, Stone got better and better,” TMHS coach Bill McCauley said. “The last three innings were his best innings. It was awesome.”
JDHS sophomore Christian Ludeman hit a home run in the bottom of the third inning to make it 4-4.
However, the Falcons answered back in the top of the fourth. Chris San Nicolas drew a walk to bring in the go-ahead run after Isaiah Nelson, Owen Mendoza and Logan Lesman loaded the bases.
Falcons catcher Bryson Echiverri scored the final run of the game in the sixth.
McCauley said his defense really came through in the late innings. Nelson and Mendoza each completed double plays in the infield.
“The little freshman second baseman (Nelson) had a hell of game,” McCauley said. “Echiverri behind the plate had a hell of a game. He threw out their lead off runner, and then in the next inning, he stole second. Echiverri’s one of my heroes. But we had a lot of good play all the way around.”
Both Juneau teams graduated a lot of experience last year, and JDHS coach Luke Adams said he expects the crosstown games to be closely contested this year.
“Really either game could’ve went either way,” he said. “It’ll be a fun third game when we play it down the road when the stakes are even higher.”
It was just the second week either team had spent playing outside in Juneau. JDHS and TMHS were originally booked for three games this weekend, but muddy field conditions kept the teams from playing on Friday night. That game will be rescheduled for later in the season.
JDHS traveled to Arizona and Sitka for preseason games, and entered the weekend having lost seven of their last nine.
“We’re actually pretty happy with their efforts today because we came out ready to play, we competed, got a few runs,” Adams said. “The defensive effort was really a step forward and we had some good pitching, too.”
JDHS plays at Petersburg this weekend, while Thunder Mountain has a bye week.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.