Joe Schactler couldn’t have picked a better time to send his first career home run into orbit.
The right-hander launched a three-run shot over the right-field fence that jump-started Kodiak Post 17 to a come-from-behind 14-5 thumping of Bartlett in an American Legion AA league baseball game on Saturday at Baranof Field.
Kodiak dropped the second half of the twinbill, 5-4, and if it wasn’t for Schactler, Post 17 was in jeopardy of losing both games to last-place Bartlett.
Schactler’s shot helped erase a 5-1 deficit and tied the game at five in the fifth inning.
“I didn’t realize how big it was until I got to the dugout and saw the scoreboard,” said Schactler, who also had two singles and ended with four RBIs.
The home run charged up the offense. Kodiak struck for nine more runs over the next two innings and turned a four-run deficit into a romp.
Frank Carlson smashed a two-run homer — his second of the weekend — in the seventh and ended with five RBIs, while Jakob Arnold drove in three with a bases-clearing double in the sixth.
Kodiak’s offense hummed to the tune of 15 hits — Sam Bennett ripped three singles, while Carlson, Arnold, John Norton and Louis Rocheleau all had two hits.
Nobody has been hotter than Schactler, a recent Kodiak High School graduate, this season. He is leading Post 17 in batting average (.500), RBIs (19), runs scored (20), doubles (six), on-base percentage (.571) and slugging (.739).
He has recorded a hit in 11 of the 15 games he has played in, and has multiple hits in five games.
Schactler said in the past he usually jumped on the first pitch, but this season he is being more patient at the plate. His home run came on a 1-0 count.
“It felt good off the bat, but I didn’t think I swung hard enough for it to go out,” he said. “After I looked up and saw it, I definitely knew.”
Bennett contributed from the run production and improved to 4-0 on the season.
He struggled in the first, giving up four runs on 32 pitches, but only needed 64 pitches in zooming through the next six innings. The righty allowed only four hits, struck out two and walked four.
Luke James pitched the final two innings, striking out two and walking one.
The offense didn’t carry over to the second game, but the pitching did.
Brandan Pickett tossed four no-hit innings and took a 4-1 lead into the fifth inning.
The game unraveled in the fifth for Kodiak.
Bartlett’s first three hitters reached base and scored — one on a wild pitch and the other two on a game-tying single from Eddie Cordero.
Cordero scored the go-ahead run on a Ryan Dudley sacrifice fly off of Giovanni Martinez, who replaced Pickett.
Pickett allowed all five runs and gave up three hits in 4 1/3 innings, while striking out five and walking three.
Martinez didn’t allow a hit and struck out two in the final 1 2/3 innings.
Kodiak had a chance to tie the game in the sixth. Arnold led off with a walk, but after a failed sacrifice bunt was tagged out leading off first base too far.
With two outs, Martinez reached on an error, but was thrown out at third on a Shaun Walton single.
Kodiak was retired in order in the seventh as Bartlett (1-13) picked up its first league win of the season.
Post 17 (8-4 league, 11-6 overall) is in fourth-place in the 15-team league with 36 points. The Bears host second-place Chugiak (11-0) in a four-game series beginning with a nonleague game on Friday. The two will play a league doubleheader on Saturday and finish with a nonleague game on Sunday.
Kodiak topped Bartlett in both nonleague games, 7-5 on Friday and 9-5 on Sunday.
Carlson drilled a two-run home run in Friday’s game and earned the win, striking out seven and allowing only one hit in five innings of relief.
In Sunday’s game, Norton grabbed the victory with four innings of work. He struck out four and allowed three runs — one earned — on four hits.
Arnold delivered a two-run double, while James added a run-scoring triple and TJ Foxworthy and Martinez RBI singles.
Mitchel Kane chipped in two hits.
BEARS 14, GOLDEN BEARS 5
Bartlett 400 010 000 — 5 4 1
Kodiak 000 146 30x — 14 15 1
Mueller, Franklin (6) and Haouli. Bennett, James (8) and Walton.
RBI: Bartlett — Dudley 2, Beckett. Kodiak — Carlson 5, Schactler 4, Arnold 3, Norton, Rocheleau. Home run: Kodiak — Carlson, Schactler. Double: Kodiak — Arnold, Norton. Three hits: Kodiak — Bennett, Schactler. Two hits: Bartlett — Dudley. Kodiak — Carlson, Arnold, Norton, Rocheleau.
Winning pitcher — Bennett (struck out two, walked four). Losing pitcher — Mueller (struck out six, walked one).
GOLDEN BEARS 5, BEARS 4
Kodiak 000 400 0 — 4 4 0
Bartlett 100 040 x — 5 3 2
Pickett, Martinez (5) and Walton. Dudley, Hinson (1) and Haouli, Torres (5).
RBI: Kodiak — Martinez. Bartlett — Dudley, Cordero 2. Double: Bartlett — Franklin.
Winning pitcher — Hinson (struck out five, walked two). Losing pitcher — Pickett (struck out five, walked three).
BEARS 7, GOLDEN BEARS 5
Bartlett 230 000 0 — 5 2 6
Kodiak 000 034 x — 7 3 2
Willis, Carlson (2) and Foxworthy, Martinez (4); Beckett, Torres (6) and Haouli.
RBI: Bartlett — Torres. Kodiak — Carlson 2. Home run: Kodiak — Carlson.
Winning pitcher — Carlson (struck out seven, walked five). Losing pitcher — Torres (struck out one, walked three).
BEARS 9, GOLDEN BEARS 5
Bartlett 030 020 0 — 5 4 8
Kodiak 520 002 x — 9 7 3
Cordero, Nieldinger (6) and Haouli. Norton, Walton (5) and Martinez.
RBI: Bartlett — Franklin, Cordero, Haouli 2. Kodiak — Arnold 2, Foxworthy, Martinez, James. Triple: Bartlett — Cordero. Kodiak — James. Double: Bartlett — Thompson, Haouli. Kodiak — Arnold. Two hits: Bartlett — Cordero. Kodiak — Kane.
Winning pitcher — Norton (struck out four, walked two). Losing pitcher — Cordero (struck out five, walked six).