Juneau’s all-star boys team will play for the state title Monday against Dimond West in the Alaska Little League Majors Baseball State Tournament in Anchorage, as Juneau rallied Sunday to even the best-of-five series at 2-2.
“With their backs against the wall, Juneau jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Game 4 on Sunday afternoon,” Geoff Kirsch, information officer for the Gastineau Channel Little League that’s fielding Juneau’s all-star team, wrote in a game recap. The lead was sparked by a two-run home run by Isaac Kirsch in the first inning, with Juneau going on to win by a score of 3-1.
“Juneau pitcher Jamie Randolph pitched a complete game, scattering five hits and striking out six,” according to Kirsch.
Monday’s game in Anchorage is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Videos from the series are available at the Gastineau Channel Little League’s Facebook page.
The first three games in the series were decided by one-run margins.
Juneau won the opening game of the series 4-3 on Thursday, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, capped with an RBI double by Vinnie Nizich, according to Kirsch.
“Backed by strong defense, Jamison Randolph pitched four innings of one-run baseball; he also hit a solo HR,” Kirsch wrote.
Dimond West evened the series by winning the second game 2-1 on Friday, in a game Kirsch described as a pitchers’ duel between Dimond West starter Cleto Brito and Juneau starter Gavin Kohan.
“Juneau‘s best opportunity came in the top of the fourth, when three consecutive singles loaded the bases with one out,” Kirsch wrote. “But Juneau could not capitalize.”
Diamond West won the game in the bottom of the sixth inning with a lead-off single, followed by a wild pitch and then a bunt that allowed a run to score and end the game, according to Kirsch.
The Anchorage team took the series lead Saturday after rain delayed the start for a few hours.
“Dimond West jumped out to a 6-1 lead,” Kirsch wrote. “But Juneau fought back to tie the game at 6-6 in the sixth inning to force extra innings. Unfortunately, for the second night in a row, Dimond West won in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 7th.”
Juneau, awaiting the deciding game Monday, is participating in the state tournament for the third straight year after again winning the District 2 regional title, according to Kirsch.
“We came within two runs of winning last year, and lost 3-1 in toughly contested series the year before,” he wrote. “This year we hope to win the whole thing.”
• Contact Mark Sabbatini at email@example.com or (907) 957-2306.