Thunder Mountain bounces back, eliminates Petersburg from baseball tourney

Thunder Mountain High School’s struggles in the opening round loss to Juneau-Douglas High School in the Region V Southeast Baseball Tournament on Thursday certainly did not impact their first game Friday morning.

The Falcons scored seven runs in the first inning and and nine runs in the second inning en route to a 18-5 victory against Petersburg High School at Moller Field.

“We were so incredibly flat yesterday and we were really concerned about playing the 9 a.m. game,” TMHS coach Bill McCauley said in a phone interview Friday. “We got in there with a good frame of mind. Hats off to the boys on their positive attitude and hopefully the momentum carries on.”

Petersburg coach Jim Engell said not capitalizing on chances early and four errors hurt any chance of keeping the game close. Petersburg is now out of the tournament.

“We had runners on in the first and second innings and just could not get them home,” Engell said in a phone interview Friday. “We had some defensive miscues (that Thunder Mountain) jumped on and it got out of hand pretty quick. We just could not get the outs when we needed them.

TMHS’ Cody Requa’s two RBI sparked the first inning, which also included a run-scoring triple from Chris San Nicolas and a run-scoring double by Bobby Cox. Gabe Storie, Bryson Echiverri and San Nicolas also drove home two runs. The Falcons ran the bases well and finished with 14 stolen bases; Storie swiped three bags.

“The boys just took advantage of the situation and made some smart baserunning decisions,” McCauley said.

Seven TMHS players recorded at least one hit, and eight players drove in at least one run. San Nicolas and Requa notched two RBI each. Storie scored a trio of runs while Cox and Echiverri added two runs each. Ten players in total scored for the Falcons. TMHS recorded 14 hits.

TMHS starting pitcher Oliver Mendoza did not allow a run in his three innings of work. He recorded three strikeouts but did walk five batters. Casey Hamilton pitched one inning of relief. He allowed five runs (three earned) on two hits while walking three batters. Cameron Eppers finished off the game. He did not allow a run and did not give up a hit. He walked one batter and notched a strikeout.

Petersburg starting pitcher Sawyer Bryner allowed 12 earned runs on five hits and eight walks in three innings. Loveden Sandhofer finished out the game on the mound and allowed six runs (three earned) on nine hits, two walks and two strikeouts. Sandhofer also knocked home two runs in the losing effort.

Sandover said because the team is young, the future could be bright.

“We are a young team,” Sandover said. “We do not have a single senior on the team. This is a rebuilding year and hopefully next year will be a better team and have a better outcome.”

The Falcons will now move on in the losers bracket and will play Ketchikan at 3 p.m.

“Right now, it is an attitude thing,” McCauley said. “I encouraged any players that need a nap to take one. We will go back over to the field, hit the cages and get ready to step right into the game. We will be ready.”

• Contact reporter Gregory Philson at or call at 523-2265. Follow him on Twitter at @GTPhilson.

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