Thunder Mountain High School celebrated its senior night on Wednesday with the final conference game of the season against Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. While it was TMHS’ night, it was JDHS’ game with a final score of 13-2.
TMHS pitching coach Todd Luck said the Falcons still have much work to do, and acknowledged that the team has had a rough past couple of games, adding that Wednesday’s game wasn’t an “ideal situation at all.”
“We put together a couple good games this season and we’re trying to build on that foundation,” Luck said. “We’ve got a fair amount of young kids, overall still kind of a young team. Whether we’re young in age or young in experience, but that only makes up for so much, certainly there were some routine plays that the execution wasn’t at the level we expect nor at the level where we’ve proven we’re capable of. Baseball is a funny game, we’ve got a lot of days to get healthy and get better and hopefully put together a better product.”
JDHS got on the board in the second inning with 6 runs. Finn Kesey hit a fly ball and reached first base allowing Bodhi Nelson and Joseph Aline to score. Eli Crupi singled on a line drive to left field, allowing Kesey and Lamar Blatnick to score. Landon Simonson was walked which allowed for Crupi to score, followed by a ground ball by Aline, sending Kaleb Campell home for a 6-0 lead at the end of top of the second.
In the bottom of the second, TMHS Owen Woodruff hit a fly ball to center field allowing TMHS Rory Hayes to score the only run in the bottom of the second.
The Bears added three more runs in the bottom of the third which started from a bunt by Blatnick that gave Kesey the chance to score followed by a ground ball from Aline sending Campbell in for another run. Crupi scored the final run of the third on a passed ball, bringing the score up to 9-1.
The Crimson Bears would continue their streak into the top of the fourth; Blatnick singled on a line drive to center field, bringing Casperson home on an error by TMHS center fielder Kaden Quinto. Crupi hit a ground ball and reached second base by an error from TMHS third baseman Hayes, allowing Blatnick to score. Crupi then scored on a passed ball for the final JDHS run of the inning, putting the score at 13-1.
In the bottom of the fourth, TMHS Carson Cummins singled on a line drive to center field, allowing Kasan Ludeman to score the last run of the game for a final score of 13-2 that concluded in the bottom of the fifth.
JDHS head coach Chad Bentz said it was a good game the entire team can feel good about heading into the final conference matchup against Sitka over the weekend. Bentz added that he’s been pleased to see the team settle in throughout the season.
“Even when we get out, which is part of the game, we’re still hitting the ball hard and that’s all we’re looking for and when we get two strikes we’re having a good two-strike approach and just trying to put the ball in play,” Bentz said. “We’re still making some mistakes and we’re trying to limit those, we have one day to prepare for a good Sitka team, we’re looking forward to going there. So, we gotta take advantage of tomorrow, prepare and then we’ll just get on an airplane and go have some fun in Sitka.”
TMHS’ Hayes started the game pitching for the Falcons, he was spelled by Liam Hart in the top of the second and Owen Woodruff relieved Hart in the top of the fourth. JDHS’ Aline shined from the mound for a total of four innings with three strikeouts, 2 runs and only 4 hits. Marcus Underwood stepped in to pitch at the bottom of the fifth.
“Joe (Aline) came in and threw strikes,” Bentz said. “We tell our guys to attack the strike zone and he did a good job of doing that. He did an amazing job of picking the entire defense up and just throwing strikes. It’s a lot of baseball, we have pitchers, Joe will get a day’s rest and we’ll see what happens but it’s going to be a fun couple of days. A lot of guys are going to get opportunities and it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.”
Next up for the Crimson Bears, the team heads to Sitka to take on the Wolves on Friday and Saturday to determine who wins the conference while the Falcons season is over until Region V tournament in Juneau on May 25-27 at Adair-Kennedy field.
• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at firstname.lastname@example.org.